Apple reportedly acquired Vrvana, a company that develops augmented reality headset called Totem, for $30 million. The acquisition of the Canada based company occurred this summer.
Apple on its part did not confirm the acquisition and Vrvana did not reply at all.
Vrvana never got around to shipping its “extended” reality headset Totem to consumers which allowed one to experience both augmented and virtual reality from one headset. The company, however, worked with the likes of Audi, Valve, Tesla, and others under NDA. The company was formed in 2005 and had received a modest funding of less than $2 million. Most of the Vrvana employees are now working in Apple’s offices in California.
The “extended” reality headset Totem was particularly interesting since it featured many unique features that are missing from other AR/VR headsets. This includes forward-facing pass-through cameras which allowed the headset to mirror the world in front of it to the 1440p OLED display inside it. It also featured 6DoF tracking and infrared sensors to track a user’s hands.
Apple has recently ramped up its efforts in the AR field with reports claiming the company wants to ship an AR headset running rOS by 2020. If true, the company could use the expertise and some of the technology from Vrvana in its own headset. This is not the first VR/AR company that Apple has acquired. Previously, the company had acquired smaller startups in the AR/VR field like Faceshift, Flyby Media, and Metaio.