As Apple reportedly ramps up work to ship an augmented reality headset in 2020, it has acquired a startup from Montreal, Canada that could help it get there. TechCrunch has learned that Apple has acquired Vrvana, maker of the Totem headset — which had rave reviews but never shipped. The deal was for around $30 million, two sources tell TechCrunch.
We contacted Apple, and the company declined to comment, but also did not deny the story. Vrvana did not reply to our request for comment. Sources close to the deal have confirmed the acquisition to us.
The deal is significant because while we have seen reports and rumors about Apple’s interest in AR hardware, the company has been very tight-lipped and generally is very secretive about completely new, future products. This acquisition is perhaps the clearest indicator yet of what the company is hoping to develop.
A number of the startup’s employees have joined Apple in California. The Vrvana site is currently still up, but it stopped updating social accounts and news in August of this year.
It’s not clear what of Vrvana’s existing products, product roadmap or current business — it worked with Valve, Tesla, Audi and others under NDA — will be making its way to Apple.
The only product that Vrvana shows off on its site is the unreleased Totem headset, an “extended reality” device utilizing key technologies from both AR and virtual reality to allow for both experiences on a single headset.