Microsoft’s HoloLens is expected to be one of the next big things in technology.

WHILE everyone has been focusing on their iPhones and Macs, Apple has been quietly getting ready to enter an untapped new market.

Augmented reality.

The world’s largest company recently acquired two start-ups, Metaio and Faceshift, with both of them working in the augmented reality and virtual reality fields.

Metaio was acquired by Apple in May for an undisclosed sum and specialises in augmented reality software.

A demo video they have released shows someone in a Ferrari showroom with an iPad that embeds optional extras and shows how parts work when they overlay the camera over the real display car.

Faceshift was acquired just last month by Apple, and was actually used by Disney to create scenes in the new Star Wars movie. The software allows users to create virtual environments and visuals which can be used in augmented and virtual reality applications.

Apple isn’t the only big tech company looking to push further in the field, with Microsoft actually showing off a working augmented reality headset called HoloLens, which is slated to launch sometime in 2016. The HoloLens puts the wearer in what Microsoft calls a “mixed reality” where they are able to see virtual objects alongside their real world.

Google is also looking to get heavily involved in the industry, investing nearly $750 million in augmented reality company Magic Leap.

Facebook however has taken the biggest jump in this field, dropping nearly $2.8 billion to buy virtual reality company Oculus. Many people thought it was crazy for Facebook to spend that much money on technology that wasn’t even ready for prime time yet, but Chris Dixon of Andreesen Horowitz, one of the most experienced investors in recent years knew just how big of a deal the tech was, saying, “I’ve only seen a handful of technology demos in my life that made me feel like the world was about to change … Apple II, the Macintosh, Netscape, Google, the iPhone, and — now — the Oculus Rift.”

While Apple has been busy acquiring employees and technology, a finished product will still be years away, even if Microsoft is releasing its HoloLens next year.


By Adam