For a long period, Apple remained far behind the other tech giants when it came to employing Augmented Reality (AR). However, with the introduction of ARKit in iOS 11, it has now started embracing the technology for delivering exceptional user experience. Just after launching ARCore- an AR tracking tech for iOS devices, Apple has now acquired Vrana, a Canadian based startup (popular for its AR headset Totem), for $30m.
Totem is widely known for perfectly blending the Augmented and Virtual Reality in a single device to deliver unparalleled experience to the users. The headset can easily veil fully opaque, true-color animations on the top of the real world, and trace the head position and location of the user’s hand for controlling the virtual objects. Besides this, the AR headset has forward-facing pass-through cameras for easily cloning the outside world on its OLED displays inside the headset, and has the capability to display the higher FOV at the highest resolution, which is faster than what human eyes can see.
The acquisition is supposed to be a step taken by Apple to deliver a revolutionary augmented-reality experience by the year 2020. This deal is in line with Apple’s vision to build a team (codename ‘T228’) that would begin with operating AKKit- a platform for the iOS application developers, like us, for Augmented Reality app development. It is believed that the software will act as a fork of the iOS software on iPads and iPhones- quite similar to what was created for the Apple Watch before. This is expected to set off a wave of innovation in mobile apps, compelling the users to buy more iPhones.
As we all know, the Google’s current AR Platform (Tango) is available only on the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and the Asus Zenofone AR, if Apple could encourage the app developers to start on AR now, it can lead Google in the field of Augmented Reality as well as prompt users to choose iPhone over other smartphones. Besides this, the tech company is believed to be investing in touch panels, voice-activation through Siri as well as head gestures to control the glasses that could work along with an iPhone. According to Bloomberg, various other activities like virtual meeting rooms and 360-degree video playback can also be expected in the future.