After leaving a trail of hints that they would be shutting down, it was revealed Metaio, a well-established German augmented reality firm had been acquired by Apple earlier this month. A legal document showing the sale leaked on Twitter with Apple later following up with their standard reply, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Metaio launched as an offshoot project at Volkswagen in 2003 and has created an impressive lineup of augmented reality apps. One of the most popular being the Metaio Creator, which allowed for the creation of immersive experiences using mobile devices. Ferrari’s app that allows prospective buyers to view a virtual tour of the vehicles options while in the showroom is one of those.
One of Metaio’s more localized apps allowed travelers to Berlin to use their iPad or iPhone to see what their specific location looked like when the Berlin Wall was still dividing the city.
Apple’s plans for Metaio aren’t clear, but there has been rumors suggesting the tech company is looking to expand further into virtual and augmented reality applications. For Metaio’s large community of developers and customers, the news is less welcoming as the company’s services will be shut down on June 30, 2015.