Apple Buys VRvana To Bolster AI and VR Efforts

Image: VRvana

Apple's recent history suggests that when they acquire another tech company, they do it in order to fold the intellectual property and ideas, rather than the products, into their product and strategy roadmap. Last week's acquisition of VRvana suggests Apple is accelerating their push into VR and AR.

Over the years, Apple has acquired companies that bring specific technology and expertise into the business - they are a bit like Star trek's Borg - assimilating their target's diversity into their own.

That's covered voice-control, GPS, processor, security and machine learning companies over the last few years. So there's little surprise that they have done the same, picking up VRvana for a reported US$30M - pocket change when you consider Apple's $250B cash holding. In the short-term, I don't think this means we'll see them release anything new in the coming months - we won't be seeing a rebranded VRvana headset. It took about a year for Siri to find its way into iOS 5 after Apple purchased it, several months after it debuted as a standalone app developed by SRI International.

The headsets currently on the market are still too clunky and ungainly to gain the approval of Apple's design team. More likely, the underlying technology created by VRvana will be further refined and the hardware will be given the Jonny Ive treatment.

Regardless, this is a clear sign Apple is moving forward further in their quest to be best to market, if they get it right, rather than first.


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