Apple has finalized an acquisition for the augmented reality company Metaio in a move that could soon bring the German firm’s AR tech to iOS and other Apple devices.
Metaio, which specializes in creating augmented reality tools for other businesses as well as other computer vision solutions, mysteriously announced last night that it would stop selling its services, but filings with the German government reveal that the company has transferred all of its shares over to Apple.
One of the most hopeful promises of augmented reality is that it will eventually help us understand the world immediately around us. I’ve always thought one of the best uses of AR technology in this respect was its application to cars: Pan your phone or tablet across an engine bay, for instance, and an AR app will tell you where to put oil or coolant, or which bolts to remove in order to access the battery.
Audi brought us a little closer to this (augmented) reality today with the release of an AR companion app, using technology from German-based AR powerhouse Metaio, for its entry-level A3 that explains features in the cabin and engine bay.
There’s this really cool, funny, slick video made by a bunch of Israelis called Sight, in which a guy walks around in a world where everything he sees is overlayed by augmented reality. Everything. All the time. Sounds far-fetched? Not so much anymore.
Today, Metaio announced that their new augmented-reality chip, called the Metaio AREngine, will make its debut in ST-Ericsson phones — in a handset(s) that may be available to the public as soon as the end of this year, or early 2014 if things move more slowly.