Devices > Wearables Blog

Apple Moves Closer to Smartglasses...

by Neil Mawston | Aug 30, 2018

It is being widely reported this week that Apple has recently purchased Akonia Holographics, a US startup that creates color displays (lenses) for augmented reality glasses.

A rough estimate suggests the takeover price for Akonia will have been just a few million dollars. That is small change to Apple, of course -- but it could have big implications for the vendor's long-rumored smartglasses project.

We currently expect Apple to enter the smartglasses category in North America, Western Europe and worldwide by 2020 / 2021. Apple has quietly become the "king of wearables" this year and it will no doubt be keen to expand on its (very) strong leadership in the future. Adding Akonia to its portfolio fits nicely with that timing, because Apple often purchases emerging tech startups and eventually incorporates them into market-ready products about 2-5 years later (e.g. PrimeSense face-rec in iPhone X).

For competitors, like Samsung, Garmin, Vuzix or Fitbit, this Apple-Akonia purchase should be ringing alarm bells. Smartglasses (or smart-sunglasses) and AR look set to be the next big wave in the wearables industry. They'd better be ready!

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