Right off the back, Apple VR? Is Apple ready to push into the VR game by buying Flyby Media?
Just so you know back in the Steve Jobs days, Apple had attempted Virtual Reality headsets and the like but pushed it aside because it was still not up to par. The tide has changed with increased competition in the space from the likes of Samsung with Gear VR, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Magic Leap (jobs at Magic Leap), as well as significant efforts from Google and Microsoft.
If you don’t know Flyby, they’re a company that was key in the development of two things we’ve spoken briefly about in the recent past, the first being machine vision, and the other is Google’s Project Tango. The company has developed tech that allows mobile phones to “see” the world around them. So Flyby is taking the IP, branching its capabilities and spreading it across the consumer spectrum.
I’m not going to get into what Flyby’s app is capable of doing because it’s a gimmick, but I assure you the tech behind the app, which is a very “internet of things” is the sole reason for Apple’s interest. The hard thing is for machines to know what it’s looking at and categorize it, well Flyby has gotten the attention of the big players.
According to Crunchbase, Flyby Media founded in 2010 by Cole Van Nice and Oriel Bergig had raised $13.78 million in outside investment from Chart Ventures Partners and CNF Investments.
The team had capabilities in the areas of large-scale simultaneous localization and mapping, indoor navigation, sensor fusion, image recognition and 3D tracking. If you take this with the Finacial times report stating Apple has been building prototypes of potential headset design schemes for several months now and the fact Apple just hired Doug Bowman an AR/VR guru; well bring on the VR dogs of war.
You should know by now “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” But this isn’t their first acquisition of a augmented reality company. They snatched up AR startup Metaio last year, as well as motion- capture company called Faceshift. Don’t forget 2013’s buy of motion-sensing company PrimeSense.
Honestly who knows what Apple is up to but it appears they are building a VR team. Competition is high but the VR market is in its infancy. We just have to wait and see who we’ll give our hard earned dollars to in order to escape reality for another reality; repeating the cycle into infinity because of the overwhelming advertisements.