Apple Buys AR Headset Maker Vrvana

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TechCrunch reports Apple has quietly acquired another small startup-- Vrvana, a augmented reality specialist and maker of the unreleased Totem headset. The price for the company is reportedly $30 million.

VrvanaApple has no comment on the story, but does not deny it either. Vrvana similarly has no comment on the story, but TechCrunch says it has "sources close to the deal" confirm the acquisition. The news site also says a number of Vrvana employees are now working with Apple in California, and while the Vrvana website is still running it stopped updating any social media accounts and news on August 2017.

Vrvana's AR offering is the Totem, a headset combining AR and VR technology through pass-through cameras able to project real world images into a built-in 1440p OLED display. The cameras track the position of the user in both real and virtual space, while additional IR cameras detect the user's hands.

The Totem headset was initially launched on Kickstarter back in September 2014, but the company suddenly cancelled the crowdfunding campain before reemerging at the 2016 Unity Vision Summit with a new prototype. The headset got positive reports from the specialist press, but following that appearance Vrvana went back into stealth mode.

The Vrvana acquisition is interesting considering Apple's interest in AR-- after all, the iPhone maker has made a number of related acquisitions over the past few years, including the likes of Metaio, Faceshift, Flyby Media and SensoMotoric Instruments. Vrvana represents its first AR/VR headset maker.

Go Apple Acquired AR Headset Startup Vrvana (TechCrunch)