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Apple buys augmented-reality firm

German company creates virtual showrooms for IKEA, others

Apple buys augmented-reality firm

Apple has bought German augmented reality company Metaio for an undisclosed sum, Reuters reported.

GALLERY: Microsoft's HoloLens

Metaio concentrates on creating videos that mesh computer-generated footage with real-world environments for the retail and industrial sectors.

Current applications of Metaio's tech include virtual showrooms for car dealerships and retailers, such as home-furnishing giant IKEA.

Speculation has already begun as to how Apple will merge Metaio's technology into its own. Cupertino, while confirming the acquisition, was characteristically tight-lipped on future projects.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans," the company said in a statement.

GALLERY: Microsoft's HoloLens

Augmented reality is also getting the attention of Apple's long-time rival Microsoft, which developed the prototype HoloLens to take advantage of new UI capabilities planned for Windows 10.

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