Apple takes over Metaio

Apple has taken over Metaio, a Germany-based firm whose augmented reality technology is used by the developers and enterprise customers.

Apple has acquired Metaio for expanding its AR experiments. According to this document, the deal was officially closed last week.

The company told ZDNet, that Apple has issued its standard statement on lower-value acquisitions, saying that Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time. Generally, it doesn't comment on the purpose or plans behind the acquisition.

As per TechCrunch, Metaio was spun out of a project at Volkswagen. It was launched in 2003. The publication reported that signs, indicating a change in the company were emerged last month when it cancelled its user conference in San Francisco.

According to Metaio, it has served more than 140,000 developers who have published 50,000 apps with the help of its technology. Ikea, Mitsubishi, Audi and Lego are some of the larger clients that have built apps using Metaio's AR software. Ikea used Mateio to use AR for bridging its print catalogue and its catalogue application.

As happens with a lot of small companies acquired by Apple, the firm's website has now gone offline and the company isn't entertaining any new customers. Moreover, it has announced on its LinkedIn page that its products and subscriptions are not available for purchase anymore.

Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple has been working on a project for bringing an augmented reality view known as Browser Around Me to its maps for local listings. For example, iPhone users may soon point their device to a café, and the Maps app would be displaying a virtual view of its menu. The project seems similar to Nokia's earlier efforts to bring AR to Here maps.