Apple acquires augmented reality headset maker Vrvana

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Vrvana is the startup behind the Totem virtual reality headset, which never actually shipped to consumers but had excellent reviews from those who got an early hands-on.

Vrvana's camera-based approach is different from those of others like Microsoft, which deploy transparent-based displays for its HoloLens headsets. According to news reports floating around, Apple has paid $30 million for Vrvana.

Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Headset Company Vrvana [Report]

Carmakers like Audi have been flirting with AR tech to produce semi-virtual auto showrooms over the past couple of years, but it's interesting to see games giant Valve listed as a customer or partner of Vrvana. All the way back in 2014 the company ran a Kickstarter campaign for a VR headset named Totem meant to compete with the Oculus Rift. The deal is significant because while we have seen reports and rumors about Apple's interest in AR hardware, the company has been very tight-lipped and generally is very secretive about completely new, future products.

There's no denying that Apple has an interested in augmented reality technology, but will it ever release dedicated hardware for its software? The system of cameras enabled 6DoF tracking, so the device can track its position in 3D space, while also using infrared cameras to track the user's hands. With AR tech, the consumer would no longer need to carry a phone, as texts and videos would be available even without the device. Vrvana continued to work on new prototypes and has recently been touting a new headset that combines VR and AR as an all-in-one package. In June, the company acquired SMI, an eye-tracking firm which was working on solutions for VR and AR headsets and in previous years has purchased Flyby Media, metaio, Emotient, and Faceshift - all companies which can help it excel in the field.

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