Apple Acquires Lens Manufacturer Limbak – Virtual Reality Times

Apple has reportedly acquired optics specialist Limbak which manufactures lenses for headsets like Simula One and Lynx-R1, according to reports.

In his blog post, industry observer and display expert Karl Guttag is reporting that a “large US company” has most likely acquired the display maker Limbak. Guttag isn’t quite sure whether it is Apple or Meta that made the acquisition. Guttag’s report has seemingly been confirmed by YouTuber and XR hardware analyst Brad Lynch who thinks it is Apple that made the acquisition.

The website of the display maker has been offline for quite some time. Guttag believes the acquisition was made some time ago and is only coming to light at this time.

Limbak acquired by a large US company
Limbak acquired by a large US company

Limbak is a Madrid-based company that was founded in 2013 and manufactures lenses for virtual reality headsets. Its products are already being used by some of the well-known XR companies including Parisian mixed reality startup Lynx and Simula VR which manufactures the Simula One Linux VR headset.

The Lynx-R1 mixed reality headset uses a very unusual lens design created by Limbak. Lynx is already shipping its mixed-reality headset to its early Kickstarter backers. Lynx calls its headset a “4x catadioptric free-form prism”. The Lynx-R1 headset will stitch together an image from four lens elements to provide a very sharp image in the middle of the image.

Guttag writes that Limbak has been developing special pancake lenses for VR headsets. Pancake lenses are the in-thing at the moment and are expected to become standard in all future XR headsets as they make it possible to realize a slimmer headset design as well as a sharply-defined and artifact-free image, a great improvement over the Fresnel lenses which have been used in VR headsets to date.

If indeed Apple has acquired Limbak, then it is, no doubt, interested in the obscure startup’s lens technology. Apple is working on a mixed-reality headset behind the scenes

In his blog Guttag delves deeply into the Limbak lens technology
In his blog Guttag delves deeply into the Limbak lens technology

etc. Although rumors and patent hints abound, the tech giant is yet to confirm or deny the existence of its mixed-reality headset project.

Limbak is just the latest in a growing list of optical companies to be acquired by major players in the XR scene including Meta, Apple, and ByteDance. A few days ago, Meta confirmed that it had acquired the lens specialist Luxexcel.

As the XR players go on a buying spree, they are increasingly facing some pushback from competitors and regulators over fears of monopolization which is likely to stifle innovation and diversity, making it increasingly harder for smaller and innovative companies like Lynx and SimulaVR to compete.

Lynch says the acquisition of the startup by Apple will not affect its current products. However, there is the possibility that it could affect future products forcing its current clients to shop for new optics partners.

https://virtualrealitytimes.com/2023/01/02/apple-acquires-lens-manufacturer-limbak/https://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Lynx-600×341.pnghttps://virtualrealitytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Lynx-150×90.pngRob GrantAcquisitionsBusinessApple has reportedly acquired optics specialist Limbak which manufactures lenses for headsets like Simula One and Lynx-R1, according to reports. In his blog post, industry observer and display expert Karl Guttag is reporting that a ‘large US company’ has most likely acquired the display maker Limbak. Guttag isn’t quite sure…

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