Apple to take over Colorado-based AR glass lens manufacturer

Tech giant Apple has reportedly confirmed its acquisition of an augmented reality (AR) glass lens making startup Akonia Holographics. As per sources, the buyout comes amidst Apple’s intentions to advance in the field of wearable technology.

For the uninitiated, augmented reality devices superimpose a computer-generated image over the real world, extending a composite view. AR devices are designed in such a way that the user cannot differentiate between the real-world object and its virtual augmentation.

As per sources, Akonia Holographics, based out of Longmont, Colorado, boasts of a distinguished display technology that produces thin and transparent smart glass lenses that display vivacious, wide field-of-view, and full-color images. The firm has patented 200 holographic assets under its name, as per the company website.

Incidentally, Akonia made it to the headlines back in 2012, when it had raised close to USD 11.6 million in seed funding and had been scouting for more. However, it has not been verified as to whether the funding had been used yet.

According to the Reuters, the i-phone maker has a history of acquiring small firms with unconventional technologies which can be used in Apple products. Even around half a decade back, in the year 2013, the tech behemoth put forth an acquisition offer for PrimeSense, whose three-dimensional sensor technology was later introduced in iPhone X for facial recognition features.

A leading media source had revealed some time back, that the i-phone maker has been manufacturing augmented reality glasses which would be made available as early as 2020. However, Apple has not provided any comments on its products or plans. Nonetheless, it has been reported that the company had, last year, launched a few augmented reality powered applications for iPads and iPhones.

According to sources familiar with the development, Apple has acquired Akonia to overcome the biggest pain point of augmented reality hardware – generating crystal clear display, light and thin screen, outdoor use bright images, and cost-effective bulk production capacity.