Google leads the pack in applying for AI patents, and Microsoft is the most prolific in filing for patents, but the race is on in AR/VR, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, and more. It's no exaggeration to say these five companies are racing to own the future. Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft are not just the most valuable companies in technology. They're also driving innovation that will have massive impacts on business and society. Trends like autonomous vehicles and AI are still in their infancy and have the potential transform our lives. But how deeply is each company involved in pushing the boundaries in these areas? Where can we go to learn what tech they're prioritizing and where the next bleeding-edge innovations will come from?
Apple's rumored AR glasses could soon become a reality. The iPhone maker confirmed late Wednesday that it acquired Colorado-based startup Akonia Holographics, which focuses on making lenses for augmented reality glasses. The move is a signal that Apple has ambitions to make a wearable device that would superimpose digital information on the real world. Apple issued a statement confirming it acquired Akonia Holographics. 'Apple buys smaller companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans,' the company said in a statement.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has nothing but praise for augmented reality, saying it's a technology that's potentially as important as the iPhone. It turns out he may have big plans for virtual reality too. The company is working on a headset capable of running both AR and VR technology, according to a person familiar with Apple's plans. Plans so far call for an 8K display for each eye -- higher resolution than today's best TVs -- that would be untethered from a computer or smartphone, the person said. The project, codenamed T288, is still in its early stages but is slated for release in 2020.
As Apple looks to its next big product, the company is increasingly placing bets on augmented reality, a revolutionary technology that combines the digital and physical worlds and appears poised to drastically change the way we experience everyday life. Apple has filed a patent for an intriguing glasses-style device that harnesses augmented reality (AR), showing how the technology could work with a device and overlay information on real world objects. In this case, the technology could be used in conjunction with a smartphone, but also with "semi-transparent spectacle or glasses" or both devices in tandem with each other. For example, the technology could show something as simple as the year a building was built, or its architectural design. Or it could be much more involved, potentially overlaying video and statistics on a car's dashboard.
Usually known for its secrecy, Apple Inc. has been relatively vocal about a key aspect of its future over the past few months. Through acquisitions, investments, research and public comments, Apple has been trying to send the message that if artificial intelligence is indeed the future, the most valuable company in the world is getting prepared.