Speaking to Apple’s growing interest in augmented reality, a new report from several sources familiar with the matter reported that Apple recently paid about $30 million for Vrvana.
Apple has acquired Vrvana, a company from Montreal, Canada that developed an augmented reality headset called Totem. Both Apple and Vrvana declined to comment on the news, but a number of Vrvana employees have relocated from Montreal to Apple facilities in California. The report says Apple has been working on augmented reality headset to ship in 2020.
Vrvana is best known for the development of Totem, which was a sort of mixed reality headset. The headset was designed with the combination of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies in a single “extended reality” device, merging VR capabilities with cameras to enable screen-based augmented reality features.
Generally, Apple is very secretive about completely new products but its interest in AR hardware is not surprising, so the deal is significant. This acquisition clearly indicates what the company is hoping to develop.
Currently, The Vrvana’s website is still active, but it stopped updating social accounts and news in August of this year.
The Vrvana worked with Audi, Valve, Tesla, and others under NDA but details about its existing products, product roadmap or current business are still unclear. Its unreleased Totem headset is the only product that the company shows off on its site.
In an interview last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said about Apple AR headset, “There are rumors and stuff about companies working on those — we obviously don’t talk about what we’re working on, but today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way.”
Apple has also acquired other augmented reality companies Flyby Media, Metaio, Emotient, and Faceshift