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Yesterday, Apple Inc. announced the acquisition of Akonia Holographics, a startup focused on making lenses for augmented reality glasses, which may launch sometime in the year 2020.

Akonia Holographics 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.

Why did Apple acquire Akonia Holographics?

With this acquisition, Apple aims to create a wearable device that has the potential to superimpose digital information in the real world via a thin lens.

Akonia’s display technology allows for thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images. This can help Apple in reaching its ambition of superimposing digital information. Akonia has a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials, according to its website.

As reported by Reuters, The Akonia acquisition is a clear indication of how Apple might handle one of the most daunting challenges in augmented reality hardware, which is producing crystal clear optical displays that are thin and light enough to fit into glasses similar to everyday frames with images bright enough for outdoor use and suited to mass manufacturing at a relatively low price.

In 2013, Apple acquired a small Israeli firm called PrimeSense that made three-dimensional sensors. The iPhone X, launched last year, uses a similar sensor to power facial recognition features. Similarly, Akonia’s acquisition might also result in a new AR lens update in one of its upcoming releases in its devices.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a former Apple Inc. analyst said that the Apple Car will launch sometime in 2023-2025. The iCar project is codenamed as ‘Titan’, according to The Wall Street Journal. Kuo said, “Apple’s leading technology advantages (e.g. AR) would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers’ products”. Apple acquiring Akino could also be part of including the latest AR tech within the iCar initiative and scale forward the timelines.

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A Data science fanatic. Loves to be updated with the tech happenings around the globe. Loves singing and composing songs. Believes in putting the art in smart.


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