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Apple reportedly acquires augmented reality company Metaio

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Apple has reported acquired a company that will give it a considerable leg up in the augmented reality field.

Metaio is the name of that company, and it's been on the scene since 2003.

According to TechCrunch, which has managed to obtain some pretty convincing legal documents on the matter, Metaio has been snapped up by Apple. The document in question shows a transfer of Metaio shares to Apple on May 21/22.

Naturally, Apple has responded to requests for comment on this matter with its usual canned noncommittal response: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

There were signs that Metaio was being bought out prior to this document release, it seems. Earlier in the month, the company mysteriously cancelled its user conference in San Francisco. It then took town its Twitter account.

Finally, just a couple of days ago, it posted on its website that it was it was ending the ability to purchase its products and subscriptions.

There was some considerable worry as to this turn of events, as Metaio isn't simply an anonymous startup. Around 1,000 customers and 150,000 users make use of its AR tools across 30 countries.

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One of the more high profile customers is Ferrari, which uses Metaio's tools to offer a virtual augmented reality tour of one of its cars.

With various rumours that Apple is getting into the virtual reality game appearing over the past year or so, having an experienced AR company like Metaio on board would seem like a smart move.

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