Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has bought augmented reality startup Metaio, claims a report from TechCrunch. The startup is a frontrunner in augmented reality and computer vision, known for creating Metaio Creator, an augmented reality tool, in order to enable users create amplified reality scenarios in just couple of minutes or so.
Price paid not revealed
Apple reportedly sealed the purchase of Munich-based Metaio but did not reveal the price or the purpose behind the acquisition. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company confirmed the acquisition with its usual statement: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Metaio has stopped taking customers, and a shareholder document related to the transferring of shares also confirms that the company has been acquired by Apple, says the report.
With the help of augmented reality, hand-drawn sketches, navigational directions, historic video, or computers, three-dimensional images can be produced. With augmented reality, viewers get the feeling as if they are stepping into some kind of artificial world. Several companies are clients of Metaio’s augmented reality tools, which are used to create interactive experiences. One big name is Ferrari, which designed an augmented reality showroom with Metaio and used it in Berlin to show travelers how the present scene they are looking at must have looked with the Berlin Wall still there.
It is not clear how Apple plans to use Metaio’s technology, but there have been persistent rumors indicating Apple’s interest in virtual reality and augmented reality. Based on patents, Apple has explored a video headset, a motion-sensing virtual 3D interface for iOS devices, and 3D “hyper-reality” displays. Apple might have acquired Metaio hoping to use the startup’s AR creation tools to introduce unique features to Maps and other apps.
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