Why Apple Inc. Bought AR Headset Startup Vrvana

Apple acquires AR startup Vrvana for $30M as it continues work on its own AR headset

Vrvana had been working with the likes of Audi, Tesla, and Valve, so whether that work will continue under Apple banner will have to be seen.

Called the Totem, the headset promises a "seamless blend" of augmented and virtual worlds by capturing the the outside world on its outward facing cameras and displaying them on the inward facing OLED display. This is something that Vrvana referred to as "extended reality".

If Apple has acquired VRvana and its headset technology, it would certainly stand it in good stead for the self-contained AR headset it's rumored to be developing for a 2020 release. Though it did not offer its boilerplate confirmation, Apple did not refute the acquisition claims. This acquisition is perhaps the clearest indicator yet of what the company is hoping to develop. Apple did not deny the story, though, and several employees who were previously with Vrvana are now with Apple. Currently, Vrvana's website is still live, but the company has "gone dark" on social media since August, indicating that the deal went through quite recently. Totem turns out to be a superior system to such technologies as it can overlay fully opaque, true color animations on top of the real world rather than the ghost-like projections of other headsets, which cannot display the color black. The headset tracks head position and the location of the user's hand for manipulation of virtual objects. This could be one reason why Apple is taking the AR tech so seriously.

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Apple has acquired Vrvana, the AR headset developer, for $30 million, reports TechCrunch. The device can also transition from AR to VR seamlessly and has 360-degree positional and hand-tracking capabilities.

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