Apple has acquired the German augmented reality (AR) company Metaio.
Augmented reality is a technology that adds data to the user’s field of vision. I can point my smartphone, for example, towards the street in front of me. The screen will have an image of the street with information on where restaurants, cafes, dentists, etc. are on that street.
Metaio, founded in 2003, offers a range of AR tools for developers to use, allowing them to overlay digital information on top of the real world.
Some of Apple’s main rivals have already explored the area, such as Microsoft and its HoloLens project, and Google with Glass and its investments in Magic Leap.
Augmented reality – the next major computing platform
AR is an area that the tech industry expects to become the next major computing platform (along with virtual reality), so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Apple has acquired Metaio.
Metaio has created software that allowed developers to create apps that show repair instructions across a tablet screen when the device’s camera is pointed at car engines and printers.
According to the WSJ, “Apple confirmed the acquisition with its standard response when it buys a company.”
An Apple spokesman told the WSJ:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,”
According to 9to5mac, Apple is working on implementing augmented reality technology to its Maps application.