Apple, LG, Valve teaming up for investment in eMagin for VR and AR
Apple, LG and Valve have entered into a partnership with eMagin, a company that specializes in making small OLED displays for use in VR and AR headsets. A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveals that the deal is worth US$10 million and which saw the trio of companies pick up 6,451,613 shares in exchange. The trio also has the option to purchase an additional 2,580,645 shares should they choose in the future at a price that hasn’t been disclosed.
Following news of the deal, eMagin’s (EMAN) shares were trading higher at 5.45 percent, closing at US$1.45. The eMagin statement to the SEC advises:
We entered into strategic agreements with multiple Tier One consumer product companies for the design and development of microdisplays for consumer head mounted devices and, together with these companies, negotiated with mass production manufacturers for higher volume production capabilities.
Valve and LG have already shown their hand when it comes to VR headsets, although with varying degrees of success. Apple, meanwhile, is known to be developing AR technology that could lead to the introduction of a headset. This development suggests that it may now be well down the road towards delivering a commercially shipping product. The Cupertino giant has made AR Kit available to developers for use in creating AR experiences using the iPhone camera, underscoring its commitment to the technology.
Apple has also partnered with LG on many occasions for displays used across many of its products, so it would come as no surprise that Apple would be interested in working closely with LG on the development of new display technologies. The inclusion of Valve in the deal is intriguing, as it suggests that Apple may also be interested in developing entertainment experiences, including gaming, in its plans for a AR and/or VR-capable headset.