As Apple reportedly plugs away at getting a wearable augmented reality device to market by 2020, the company has bought another startup that could prove useful in the development, TechCrunch reports. Apple has purchased Canadian AR headset startup Vrvana for around $30 million according to two sources familiar with the deal.
Vrvana gained notoriety with its Totem headset — which combines both AR and VR technologies to create an “extended reality” — but never shipped a consumer product. The Totem relies on several cameras to capture the outside world and broadcast that to its attached OLED screen, creating a much more detailed and intricate overlay with more capabilities than competitors like Microsoft’s HoloLens.
The cameras even track a user’s hands, allowing them to manipulate virtual objects. The drawback is Vrvana’s products so far have been the same kind of bulky headsets that Apple would never ship, so time will tell how Apple chooses to use the technology it has acquired.