Tag Archives: Metaio

Apple investing in Augmented Reality

After months of speculation, Apple finally confirmed its acquisition of FaceShift, a Swiss-based visual effects startup responsible for the motion-capture technology used in the new Star Wars movie. FaceShift specialises in software that allows 3D animated avatars to mimic the facial expressions of a person. Why would Apple buy FaceShift since it’s not an obvious fit for Apple’s current line of principally consumer technologies. Experts predict that Apple could be preparing to move into the realm of Augmented Reality (AR). In addition to FaceShift, Apple has also recently purchased AR technology-related companies namely, Primesense, Polar Rose and Metaio. With these acquisitions, Apple stakeholders can now be assured that the tech giant is taking the AR trend very seriously.

Is Augmented Reality the future of gaming?

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two of the most exciting things happening in gaming today. According to research firm Digi-Capital, the VR market is expected to be worth $30 billion in 2020 while the AR market is expected to grow to $120 billion that same year. So, not surprisingly, investors and tech companies have taken notice and, as a result, they have been investing serious cash in the space in the past years: Facebook spent $2 billion for Oculus, Google led a $542 million round of funding in Magic Leap, Apple acquired German AR company Metaio, and Microsoft developed its HoloLens. While it is likely that we will eventually see intense competition among these companies, one independent startup is making some headway in the AR space. Niantic Labs, a former Google company, is developing a new AR game called Pokemon GO that will allow players to “see” and “capture” Pokemons in the real world. An app will direct the players to real locations where they can “catch” lurking Pokemons. To help build the game, Niantic Labs has raised $20 million in funding from Nintendo, the Pokemon Company and Google. Although the success of this game remains to be seen, it is a sign that AR could change the way people play games.

Apple’s AR ambitions

Augmented Reality (AR) is finally becoming real as tech giants continue to back the technology up. Facebook acquired Oculus, Google invested millions of dollars in Magic Leap and Microsoft has the HoloLens. Now Apple is making the same bet with its recent acquisition of Metaio, a Munich-based startup specialising in AR technology. Although it is still unknown what Apple will do with this latest buy, experts have suggested that Apple may soon add AR technology to its apps or develop AR products that will appeal to mass market consumers. In spite of the fact that Apple is being tight-lipped about future products, one thing is for sure: Apple’s AR plans are starting to come together. The acquisition complements Apple’s purchase of Coherent Navigation, a company specialising in hyper-accurate GPS, and PrimeSense, an Israeli maker of hardware that enables 3D machine vision. The company also recently procured a patent for a head-mounted virtual reality device. All these strongly suggest Apple’s keen interest to foray into the competitive arena of Augmented Reality.