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Apple Purchases Augmented Reality Startup Metaio

Apple recently acquired augmented reality startup Metaio, reports TechCrunch. According to the company's website, Metaio is a "pioneer in augmented reality and computer vision" that built the Metaio Creator, an augmented reality authoring tool. With the Creator, users could create augmented reality scenarios "within minutes."

Metaio has stopped taking new customers and a shareholder document concerning the transferring of shares has confirmed that it was purchased by Apple. Apple also provided TechCrunch with its standard acquisition confirmation statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Metaio's augmented reality tools have been used by several companies to create interactive experiences. Ferarri, for example, created an augmented reality showroom with Metaio, and it's been used in Berlin with historical footage to let travelers see what the scene they're viewing would have looked like when the Berlin Wall was still in place.


It is not clear how Apple plans to use Metaio's technology, but there have been persistent rumors indicating Apple is interested 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.

It's possible that Apple could use Metaio's AR creation tools to introduce unique features to Maps and other apps. A 2014 rumor suggested Apple was considering adding augmented reality features to Maps, and a more recent rumor points towards Apple's work on a "Browse Around Me" feature for iOS 9 that includes an augmented reality view.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple has a small team working on augmented reality projects at its Cupertino headquarters, but it remains unclear exactly when we'll see Apple incorporating AR and VR features into its products.

Related Roundup: Apple VR Project
Tags: Apple acquisition, Metaio


Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago
Interesting, but I can see people walking into traffic because they're looking at a street in 1940s Germany.
Rating: 8 Votes
14 months ago

Microsoft doesn't own oculus rift, Facebook does.
Also, Virtual reality is not even the same as augmented reality. Two very different technologies for 2 different needs.


You only half corrected him/her, as of course Microsoft *does* have an augmented reality device (the HoloLens).
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago

Microsoft, Apple sees your Oculus Rift and raises you a Metaio.

Microsoft doesn't own oculus rift, Facebook does.
Also, Virtual reality is not even the same as augmented reality. Two very different technologies for 2 different needs.
Rating: 6 Votes
14 months ago
Facebook, Apple sees your Oculus Rift and raises you a Metaio.
Rating: 4 Votes
14 months ago
augmented reality is clumsy and unintuitive with current hardware. if apple intends to engage AR, they'll have to come up with some clever hardware solutions
Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago
"I see dead people."

"...stop looking through your iPad!"
Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago
I don't know that my reality needs to be augmented. I kind of like it as is.
Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago
Other company, Apple sees your fake reality thing and raises you their fake reality thing.

You might say things are getting... unreal.
Rating: 1 Votes
14 months ago

I'll bet you've never tried Oculus Rift? I don't know a single person who has used a modern VR headset and called it a gimmick. Not ready for primetime, needs content, needs ironing out - sure. But no one with first-hand experience calls it a gimmick. With respect, I think in 1-3 years your comment will be tossed in the bin with "no one will buy a smartphone without a keyboard" :p

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Near term: Walking directions guided by floating arrows, colored sidewalks, etc. Long term: projected onto the windshield for your Apple Car!


This. The Oculus Rift and other devices like it must be experienced first hand. Most people who have tried it are amazed by it. I've borrowed a friend's unit one time and had relatives try on an ocean demo in which you're submerged in the ocean, watching whales, sharks, and fish swim by -- they were just floored.

Of course, the platform is not completely fleshed out. Most titles are simply demos to show you what can be achieved. Nevertheless, it's definitely not a gimmick.
Rating: 1 Votes
14 months ago
I think some people are already living in an Apple augmented reality. :eek:
Rating: 1 Votes

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