Apple company recently discreetly acquired Vrvana, a Canadian manufacturer of a helmet that oscillates between virtual reality and augmented reality.
This is a new step for Apple in its quest for an augmented reality helmet for 2020. According to Techcrunch, Apple bought the helmet manufacturer Vrvana (pronounced “Véairvana”) for $30 million. Contacted by the media specialized in new technologies, Apple has neither confirmed nor denied this information.
Vrvana is a Canadian company still in its infancy in augmented reality. Founded in 2005, it would have received only $2 million in funding to date, a minimal amount to develop a physical product. However, its Totem helmet, for the time being, a prototype, impressed observers when it was launched last year.
While the purchase was not directly confirmed, secondary sources assured Techcrunch that the transaction had been completed. Vrvana employees would already be working at Apple, and the Canadian company has not been communicating over social networks since August.
Augmented Reality Pioneer
With the launch of its Totem, Vrvana has developed the concept of “extended reality,” between virtual and augmented reality. As explains, VrVana made a helmet in the form of a virtual reality helmet, covering the user’s entire vision, but added cameras on the front of the helmet to film the real world. This hybrid system made it possible to locate the user’s hands in infrared while integrating into a 3D world.
One of Vrvana’s advantages is also to offer virtual projections on the real world in color and opaque, while other augmented reality headsets like Microsoft’s Hololens can only display ghosts in black. However, Vrvana encountered a problem of too high latency, which hampered its use.
Businesses, the first targets?
More broadly, this acquisition should allow Apple to accelerate in the design of its augmented reality helmet. Unveiled by Bloomberg on November 8th, Apple’s effort to build its helmet seems increasingly consistent. Unofficial information already reports a team of several hundred engineers and the design of a specific operating system called “rOS” for reality Operating System.
While the apple firm is always looking to diversify and gain a foothold in the business environment, the acquisition of Vrvana could be a significant asset.