Apple acquires mixed reality headset maker Vrvana for $30M

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This allows the headset to do what it calls "seamless blend" transitions between VR and AR environments.

In an interview last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said about Apple AR headset, "There are rumors and stuff about companies working on those - we obviously don't talk about what we're working on, but today I can tell you the technology itself doesn't exist to do that in a quality way".

While Apple acquires a great number of new companies every year, a number of them have been reported lately covering Power by Proxi, InVisage, Regaind and now Vrvana. Its unreleased Totem headset is the only product that the company shows off on its site. Totem is said to be able to project full, colorized digital images over a real world background.

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Vrvana's camera-based approach is different from those of others like Microsoft, which deploy transparent-based displays for its HoloLens headsets. Touted on Vrvana's website, which is still active at the time of this writing, Totem integrates specialized internal hardware to not only track head position, but also the location of a user's hands to facilitate the manipulation of virtual objects. And with virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality trending in a big way, this is the kind of buy that presents a low risk and potentially high reward. It is believed that the company has kept 2019 as the deadline to finish the product and ship it by 2020 if the project goes on as scheduled.

VRvana's Totem is now tethered, but I assume Apple will solve this issue over the next few years. This could be one reason why Apple is taking the AR tech so seriously.

The company's ARKit SDK for iPhone applications was only the beginning.