It was reported late this week that Apple is looking to make its voice heard in the growing augmented reality chorus with the purchase of Metaio. Metaio, an augmented reality firm that dates all the way back to 2003, gives Apple instant access to technology that many firms these days are embracing. Just this week, Oculus parent company Facebook opened its wallet to purchase augmented reality firm Surreal Vision to move closer toward true telepresence.
When cornered about its plans for Metaio, Apple gave its usual boilerplate response when “small” acquisitions are brought into the view of the public’s prying eyes: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
However, one of the company’s most prominent products is the Metaio Creator, which uses advanced 3D tracking to “[allow] for quick and easy creation and deployment of Augmented Reality scenarios.” You can witness this for yourself with the Ferrari AR showroom app which was crated by developer Zspace using Metaio’s tools:
You can also see some of Metaio’s other wares in the following videos:
The late Steve Jobs made the Reality Distortion Field (RDF) a thing of beauty when he was at helm of Apple. Steve Jobs’ RDF was “a confounding mélange of a charismatic rhetorical style, an indomitable will, and an eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand,” said former Macintosh designer Andy Hertzfeld. “If one line of argument failed to persuade, he would deftly switch to another. Sometimes, he would throw you off balance by suddenly adopting your position as his own, without acknowledging that he ever thought differently.”
Apple is still capable of bending reality and getting consumers to fork over money for devices that just yesterday they didn’t want or thought that they didn’t need. Just look at the iPad and the Apple Watch. Only time will tell if Apple’s foray into augmented reality will be just as persuasive to customers.