[Update: EMagin’s CFO has said today that Apple has not invested in the company, but that EMagin included the Cupertino company in its January filing “because it had discussions with them at industry events.” and added that the document was “misinterpreted.”]
Apple is making further investments into bringing augmented reality devices to market. The latest news is the company backing a small AR display component maker along side LG and others.
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A new report from Bloomberg today tells us that Apple invested an unknown amount in the AR display OLED producer, EMagin Corp. along with three other companies.
$10.6 million was raised in total by LG Display Co., Stillwater Holdings, VR startup Immerex, and Apple. EMagin is based near Seattle, WA and its stock jumped over 40% on the news today.
EMagin produces OLED display components for both AR and VR headsets and Apple’s contribution is another sign of the company’s plans to enter the AR wearable market at some point.
Last November we heard that Apple would be aiming for a 2020 release date for its first AR wearable. Then, shortly after, news from Apple supplier, Quanta suggested that the new device could arrive as soon as 2019. In December, Quanta announced that it secured a deal with an unnamed company to produce an AR wearable.
For Apple’s part, Tim Cook said in October last year that “the field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet” in regard to AR glasses. However, we could see major improvements this year and next to allow Apple to offer its first wearable in the not too distant future.
As for Apple’s ARKit, it sounds like adoption hasn’t been as popular as first expected. However, the company has already released ARKit 1.5 which gives developers more creative license and opportunities to create more compelling experiences.