Apple buys AR lens startup Akonia Holographics - Mobile World Live

Apple buys AR lens startup Akonia Holographics

30 AUG 2018

Apple sought to boost its position in the augmented reality (AR) space with the acquisition of specialist display company Akonia Holographics, Reuters reported.

The company’s focus on making lenses for AR glasses may foreshadow the release of a wearable device from the iPhone giant: Bloomberg reported Apple could launch AR glasses as soon as 2020.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. However, in a brief statement, Apple said it “buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans”.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a vocal proponent of AR. During an earnings call in February, Cook said he was a “huge, huge believer in AR,” adding Apple had “put a lot of energy” into the technology and is “moving very fast.” Indeed, Apple honed in on AR upgrades in a recent iOS update and added AR functionality to its newly released education-friendly iPad.

If it can overcome the privacy fears faced by previous iterations of AR wearbables, including Google Glass, the addition of an AR device could provide additional momentum for Apple’s fast-growing wearables segment.

During an earnings call covering its fiscal Q3 (the three months to end-June), Cook said Apple’s wearables revenue had totalled more than $10 billion over the previous four quarters.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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