Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Apple Has Subtly Indicated A Shift Towards Mixed Reality
Apple, as usual, has been tightly lipped about its plans with the newly acquired VR media-streaming company. And, it’s understandable as well. They’ve always been more vocal about their aspirations in the Augmented Reality space.
One may wonder why would Apple, who hasn’t shown much interest in Virtual Reality until recently, buy a firm that’s failed to secure Series C round in early 2019 and has only raised $115 million in the previous decade. For the uninitiated, acquisitions in the technology space are often gauged by the potential rather than current evaluations.
Coming to the more pertinent issue, ARKit, Apple’s own Augmented Reality framework for building iOS and iPadOS applications, hasn’t been able to bind consumer’s interest in terms of scale and usage. To put it straight, ARKit has been a failure. Besides the odd “Pokemon Go”, most AR-based apps and games have only got a lukewarm response.
In the past year, the release of the RealityKit framework and a new LiDAR sensor clearly indicates that Apple’s interests are much bigger than Augmented Reality. The NextVR acquisition is a strong signal of Apple putting its bets on Mixed Reality(XR), a term used to encompass Augmented and Virtual Reality.
NextVR which holds a patented technology to upscales video streams could be coupled with Akonia Holographics(acquired in 2018)to boost the development of Apple’s long-rumored AR-VR headset.