Apple buys startup focused on lenses for AR glasses


Apple just dropped a big clue that it's planning to make a pair of augmented reality glasses with its latest acquisition.

Apple has acquired Denver-based AR lens startup Akonia Holographics, according to a report by Reuters.

Akonia Holographics, founded in 2012, earlier focused on developing optical technologies such as holographic data storage.

"Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our objective or plans", Apple said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the iPad and iPhone maker confirmed the buyout, although in Apple's typical fashion, remained quiet when it came to additional details.

Akonia could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Unsworth pursuant to a written engagement agreement and are not providing services pro bono". The company's chairman and biggest shareholder deactivated his Instagram account last week.

Akonia said its display technology allows for 'thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images'.

Akonia also holds a portfolio containing media manufacturing and prototyping equipment, alongside over 200 patents relating to holographic systems and materials.

Akonia has previously raised $11.6 million in a Series A funding round taking place in 2012. Additionally, it's no secret that Apple purchases smaller tech companies. Apple acquired a startup called PrimeSense in 2013 that built 3D sensing technology, which became the basis for the Face ID face scanner in the iPhone.

Apple buying Akonia propels the organisation onto the augmented reality front line. Apple didn't confirm when it made the acquisition, but Reuters believes it might have happened sometime in the first half of the year.

Over 100 engineers at Apple are supposedly being tasked with exploring both augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.

Of course, the fact that Apple's acquisition indicate that the company is actively working on AR glasses is not an indicator that a product will be released.