Apple is no stranger to the concept of wearable devices. In 2016, the Cupertino tech giant was reported to be testing a set of smart glasses similar to the canceled Google Glass. The company now seems to be taking a step further in its wearable ambitions with the purchase of Akonia Holographics, a company that manufactures the lenses for augmented reality (AR) glasses.
The exact date and financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though Reuters reports the deal might have occurred in the first half of this year. Akonia has more than 200 patents related to holographic technologies. According to its website, Akonia initially focused on holographic data storage before it turned its attention to the manufacture of displays for AR glasses.
Apple's latest acquisition signals the company's intention to grow its stake in augmented reality. At its 2017 WWDC event, the company introduced the ARKit framework meant to provide fast and stable motion tracking, with the ability to find surfaces, estimate ambient light in the environment, and estimate the scale of objects.
With Akonia's technology incorporated into its AR endeavors, Apple is expected to improve the clarity of thin optical displays that are fitted into smart glasses, a major challenge facing hardware manufacturers in this segment.