Apple signals AR glasses ambition with smart lens maker acquisition

Apple signals AR glasses ambition with lens maker acquisition

Apple has shown its hand in the wearable technology sector after purchasing a start-up specialising in the manufacture of lenses suitable for augmented reality (AR) glasses.

Confirmation that Apple had bought Colorado-based Akonia Holographics immediately drew speculation as to what its long-term goals might be as analysts continue to fret over Apple’s failure to diversify its product base.

Akonia differentiates itself from other lens manufacturers by developing ‘thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images’, according to its website.

Founded in 2012 by a group of holography scientists the firm has gone on to develop in excess of 200 patents pertaining to holographic systems and materials.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously trailed his ambitions in the field by declaring AR to be ‘one of those huge things’ that humanity will ‘look back and marvel on the start of it’.

That start could arrive relatively soon with Bloomberg reporting last year that Apple was ready to begin shipments of AR glasses as early as 2020 but will be hoping to perform better than the ill-fated Google Glass.

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