“As Apple reportedly ramps up work to ship an augmented reality headset in 2020, it has acquired a startup from Montreal, Canada that could help it get there,” Lucas Matney reports for TechCrunch.TechCrunch has learned that Apple has acquired Vrvana, maker of the Totem headset — which had rave reviews but never shipped. The deal was for around $30 million, two sources tell TechCrunch.”

“This acquisition is perhaps the clearest indicator yet of what the company is hoping to develop,” Matney reports. “It’s not clear what of Vrvana’s existing products, product roadmap or current business — it worked with Valve, Tesla, Audi and others under NDA — will be making its way to Apple. The only product that Vrvana shows off on its site is the unreleased Totem headset, an ‘extended reality’ device utilizing key technologies from both AR and virtual reality to allow for both experiences on a single headset.”

“The Totem holds a number of advantages over these systems, most notably in that it is able to overlay fully opaque, true-color animations on top of the real world rather than the ghost-like projections of other headsets which critically cannot display the color black. This allows the headset to do what it calls ‘seamless blend’ transitions between VR and AR environments,” Matney reports. “There are consumer applications for this kind of “extended reality” technology — for example, in games and other entertainment — but one key focus for Vrvana was enterprise usage.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple CEO Cook during the company’s Q317 conference call with analysts on August 1, 2017:

One of the most exciting and most promising announcements from WWDC was the introduction of ARKit, a new set of tools for developers to create augmented reality apps. It’s still early in the beta period, but it’s clear that ARKit has captured the imagination of our developer community. We think ARKit will help the most creative minds in the industry tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build engaging content.

We believe AR has broad mainstream applicability across education, entertainment, interactive gaming, enterprise, and categories we probably haven’t even thought of. With hundreds of millions of people actively using iPhone and iPad today, iOS will become the world’s biggest augmented reality platform as soon as iOS 11 ships.

Apple CEO Cook during the company’s Q417 conference call with analysts on November 2, 2017:

The launch of iOS 11 also made iOS the world’s largest platform for augmented reality. There are already over 1,000 apps with powerful AR features in our App Store today, with developers creating amazing new experiences in virtually every category of apps aimed at consumers, students and business users alike. Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever.

We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn. For example, there are AR apps that let you interact with virtual models of everything you can imagine, from the human body to the solar system. And of course, you experience them like they’re really there. Instantly, education becomes much more powerful when every subject comes to life in 3D. And imagine shopping when you can place an object in your living room before you make a purchase, or attending live sporting events when you can see the stats on the field. AR is going to change everything.

SEE ALSO:
Apple working on augmented reality headset running ‘rOS’ to ship as early as 2020 – November 8, 2017
Apple’s AR smartglasses – understanding the issues – August 29, 2017
Bernstein: Apple’s ‘smartglasses’ opportunity ‘could be enormous’ – August 25, 2017
Apple working on several prototypes of AR glasses – August 4, 2017
Apple’s next big move: Augmented reality – August 3, 2017
Apple’s rumored new glasses will be an even bigger deal than the iPhone – July 28, 2017
Apple smart glasses are inevitable – July 28, 2017
New app using Apple’s ARKit lets iPhone recreate 16 weeks of painstaking rotoscoping on the fly – July 27, 2017
Gene Munster: Apple Glasses will soon outshine the iPhone – June 28, 2017
Gene Munster: Expect Apple smart glasses in mid-2020 – June 27, 2017
Augmented Reality: Apple’s revolutionary offering leaves Google’s Android woefully behind – June 26, 2017
Apple’s AR is much closer to reality than Google’s – June 26, 2017
UBS: Apple may eventually launch ‘iGlass’ smart glasses – June 20, 2017
IKEA’s forthcoming Augmented Reality furniture app powered by Apple’s ARKit – June 19, 2017
Apple’s single most important WWDC 2017 announcement: ARKit – June 11, 2017
Apple CEO Cook discusses philosophy behind HomePod, ARKit’s potential market impact – June 6, 2017
Overnight, Apple will own the world’s largest augmented reality platform – June 7, 2017
Analysts: Apple’s Corning investment hints at AR glasses and wireless charging tech – May 14, 2017
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Leaked document details Apple employee eye injuries, hints at Apple AR glasses – April 20, 2017
Apple began working on augmented reality glasses more than a year ago, sources say – March 27, 2017
Apple is working on several AR products, including glasses, but first in iPhone, sources say – March 20, 2017
Why Apple will make smart glasses – January 25, 2017
The rumor that Apple will launch AR glasses in 2017 is ridiculous – January 10, 2017
Apple and Zeiss working together on augmented reality glasses, says Robert Scoble – January 10, 2017
No, Apple’s next big thing won’t be smart glasses – November 16, 2016
Apple Specs: Smart glasses that people will want to wear – November 16, 2016
Apple considers move into smart glasses – November 14, 2016
Apple granted another Augmented Reality head-mounted display patent – November 10, 2016
Snapchat introduces ‘Spectacles’ eyewear that record video – September 26, 2016
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple will have a 3-5 year lead in augmented reality; use as part of an autonomous driving system – November 2, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We are high on Augmented Reality for the long run’ – October 14, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus is the starting point of Apple’s major push into augmented reality – September 28, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus proves Apple is gearing up for augmented reality – September 27, 2016
What iPhone 7 says about Apple’s future augmented reality plans – September 19, 2016
Apple needs to forget chasing Snapchat and go after the Augmented Reality industry – August 25, 2016
Tim Cook publicly confirms Apple has augmented reality plans – July 27, 2016
Apple acquires Flyby Media; assembles large team of virtual and augmented reality experts – January 29, 2016
Apple hires leading virtual reality researcher – January 22, 2016
Apple is building a virtual reality supply chain with disruptive potential, new research shows – November 19, 2015
Analyst: Apple team exploring virtual reality/augmented reality – August 31, 2015
Apple exploring a new reality with purchase of Metaio – June 3, 2015
Apple patents perforated augmented reality display that you can see and hear through – May 29, 2015
Apple acquires augmented reality company Metaio – May 28, 2015
New Apple haptics patent application reveals diamond-layered trackpad that simulates wood, other textures – April 23, 2015
Apple granted U.S. patent for hybrid VR head-mounted display – February 18, 2015
Apple is working on VR user interfaces and gaming; looking for Oculus and Leap experts – February 10, 2015
Apple granted patent for display-based speakers for iOS devices – January 13, 2015
Apple granted a patent for devices with a transparent display – November 18, 2014
Apple’s new iPhones, iPads could feature haptic displays – June 30, 2014
Apple patent application reveals personal display headset invention – May 8, 2014
Apple patent application reveals wildly intelligent multi-tiered haptics system – May 3, 2012
Apple continues to tweak Apple TV video headset accessory – April 10, 2014
Apple patent application reveals sapphire flexible transparent display devices created with Liquidmetal – December 19, 2013
Apple granted knockout patent for head-mounted personal display – December 10, 2013
Powerful new patent application details next step in Apple ‘iGlasses’ project – December 7, 2012
iGlasses: Apple granted patent for head-mounted augmented reality displays – July 5, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]