Apple had made a big move in the field of augmented reality by acquiring Metaio, a German manufacturer of tools for building augmented reality apps. Sources confirm the transfer of shares.
There has been no official confirmation from Apple but it stated, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose of plans.” No word has been heard from Metaio so far. There were couple of signs like cancelling its user conference in San Francisco and closing down company’s Twitter account, signaling something was happening around. A post was spotted on the website that it is ending its purchase of products and subscriptions.
Augmented reality, which provides more information to the user’s view of the environment around him to help him work, shop or drive, might be the leap in the user interface for Apple. Augmented reality has been an area where Apple has often led the way. Big rivals like Microsoft with HoloLens and Google is already a step ahead in the field with its Google Glass, which is under improvement but available in the market. Google Glass was one of the first to reach public for which it faced its consequences too. BMW also has used the technology for navigation, parking tasks etc.,
It has to be noted that augmented reality and virtual reality are similar yet different. Virtual reality (VR) is a computer generated version of the world, where it makes one like they are in different place. While, with augmented reality the real-life experience are enhanced with computer-generated images.
The sources do not reveal the financial terms of the deal or what the Apple intends to do with Metaio. It is expected Metaio could help Apple with its VR and AR projects it is currently working on. One new website reported that Apple is working with AR feature for its Maps app to have a better view of the surroundings with phone, for which Metaio’s technology would come to aid. Currently, Metaio holds a big community of developers with more than 1000 customers and 150,000 users worldwide in more than 25 countries around the world.