Apple Acquires Metaio
Apple continues to gobble up companies with cutting edge technology. As mentioned in a previous article they recently acquired VocalIQ. In May 2015 the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had bought the company, but the purchase price was undisclosed. Metaio is yet another company added to Apple’s ever growing list of acquisitions.
Metaio was a privately held company in Munich, Germany with subsidiaries throughout the U.S. in San Francisco, New York City, and Dallas. Their focus has been on Augmented Reality. AR allows one to superimpose digital data, media, on top of a real object. Real-time data tracking and rendering are utilized as well as precise alignment, data management, and security.
Metaio developed software technology and provided a software development kit (SDK) for programming PC, the web, mobile, and custom offline augmented reality applications. They also created Junaio, a free mobile AR browser available for Android and iOS devices.
In 2012, Metaio developed “Metaio Creator” which allowed non-programmers to create and deploy an Augmented Reality experience with no coding necessary. This is some pretty cool stuff. This video shows us what’s possible with Metaio’s technology. Ferrari commissioned ZSPACE to develop this virtual showroom app with the tools from Metaio.
In another video, Axel Lechter demonstrates Augmented Reality Industrial Solutions for After Sales, Remote Maintenance, and Training.
This is an interesting space for Apple to get into. An obvious guess would be that this acquisition is in some way related to the Titan project. Could this be a strategic move by Apple to make not only the Apple Car but the experience of owning an Apple Car, cutting edge and innovative. After all, Metaio did grow out of an internal project within Volkswagen.
Since the technology in Junaio, Metaio’s browser was likely included in the deal, perhaps we’ll see Augmented Reality capabilities in a future version of Safari. Interesting stuff.