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US: Apple buys augmented reality company

 |  September 2, 2018

Apple has made a new bet on augmented reality (AR), buying Akonia Holographics, which makes lenses for the technology. The secretive deal, confirmed last week, comes amid other augmented reality moves by the likes of PayPal and Target. Apple bought the Colorado-based company for an undisclosed sum.

“Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple told Reuters, declining to release more details.

Akonia’s HoloMirror technology enables “headsets that are thin, transparent and light-weight, while achieving high [field of view (FOV)] with low manufacturing cost,” Akonia stated on its website. It holds 140 patents associated with “holographic systems and materials,” and employs many of the people behind those inventions. The company claims that its “thin, transparent smart glass lenses … display vibrant, full-color, wide field of view images.”

The company launched in 2012 and focused on storing holographic data before shifting to glasses that can be used for augmented reality.

Augmented reality glasses enable users to see digital information in additional to real world visuals. In a retail setting, that would mean virtual information appearing over real products in stores.

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