Apple acquires AR headset market Vrvana

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The Canadian startup is best known for their hybrid headset Totem, which has not yet been released. According to news reports floating around, Apple has paid $30 million for Vrvana.

The acquisition has yet to be confirmed by either Apple or Vrvana, acording to TechCrunch the company stopped update it social media accounts in August.this suggest that Apple purchased the company some time in August. Well, the company's headset used a camera-based approach to augmented reality, differing from the likes of Microsoft's Hololens, which utilizes a projection-based display.

Vrvana's Totem is different from other VR devices in that it uses cameras to blend what you'd see if you weren't wearing the headset with VR imagery, making for a much more realistic experience. To accelerate its efforts, Apple has gone out and acquired Vrvana, a startup from Montreal, Canada, that ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign for its Totem headset. 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.

The significant part of this deal, is that it ties in well with recent reports that Apple is ramping up production on its own augmented reality headset.

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Vrvana has a long history with VR and AR. Hand tracking is one of the technologies that Apple's PrimeSense team in Israel has brought to Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already stated that AR has "broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven't even thought of".

Don't look for Totem to hit store shelves now that Apple owns Vrvana. SMI is an eye-tracking firm that provides a solution for VR and AR headsets.

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