The news was first reported by TechCrunch, and confirmed by a person familiar with the matter to Business Insider on Tuesday. Vrvana was founded in 2005 in Montreal, Canada. About a dozen Vrvana employees, including CEO Bertrand Nepveu, have been working at Apple in its augmented reality division for weeks, according to the source.
TechCrunch reports that the purchase price was about $30 million.
Vrvana is best known as the creator of the still-in-development Totem headset. In addition to virtual reality, the Vrvana Totem is said to be able to overlay full, colorized digital images over the real-world. That would be a step above rivals like the Microsoft HoloLens, which only project transparent “ghost” images within a limited field-of-view.
If the Vrvana Totem lives up to those lofty promises, it could give Apple a major leg up in augmented reality, which the company sees as the next major computing platform.
Apple’s augmented reality division is said to be in the hundreds of employees, led by former Dolby executive Mike Rockwell. That team is reportedly focused on everything from Apple’s headset efforts, to the ARkit augmented reality tech in Apple iOS 11.