Apple has bought Akonia Holographics, a startup that makes lenses for augmented reality glasses. The acquisition lends further credence to rumors suggesting Apple is working on augmented reality products.
Apple confirmed it acquired Longmont, Colorado-based Akonia Holographics. “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans,” the iPhone maker said in a statement.
Akonia could not immediately be reached for comment. The company was founded in 2012 by a group of holography scientists and had originally focused on holographic data storage before shifting its efforts to creating displays for augmented reality glasses, according to its website.
Akonia Holographics says it makes the “world’s first commercially available volume holographic reflective and waveguide optics for transparent display elements in smart glasses.”
The company’s display technology allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” The firm’s website indicates that it owns a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials.
A 2017 Bloomberg report indicated Apple was in the process of developing augmented reality glasses, and that they could ship as early as 2020.
The company last year debuted augmented reality applications for its iOS devices. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called augmented reality a “big and profound” technology development.