Apple has announced in a press release that it is awarding II-VI, a leading optical technology manufacturer, an additional $410 million. CEO Tim Cook tweeted that the latter helps power some of the prominent features of the former, such as FaceID, Memoji, and Portrait Mode.
The investment that Apple has extended to II-VI (pronounced as “two-six”) will “create additional capacity and accelerate delivery of future components for iPhone,” Apple said in a press release.
Initially, the Cupertino company gave $390 million in 2017 to II-VI from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. It means that in total, Apple has already given $900 million to the tech manufacturer.
Additionally, the initial payment paved the way for the revival of the long-shuttered building into a high-tech manufacturing facility.
Apple’s investment is also set to produce 700 manufacturing jobs in Sherman, Texas; Warren, New Jersey; Easton, Pennsylvania; and Champaign, Illinois.
II-VI is also part of Apple’s Clean Energy Program. The company is already using 100% renewable energy in manufacturing.
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Augmented Reality is “Critically” Important to Apple
Furthermore, the said development raises the possibility that Apple will keep FaceID, The Verge reports. II-VI supplies the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers of the mentioned feature.
The report adds that the continuing relationship of Apple and II-VI could propel the former’s future in both augmented reality and virtual reality.
Cook said, via New York Times, that AR is “critically” important to the future of the company. The CEO further said that he imagines AR used in our life’s key aspects, such as health, education, retail, and even gaming.
Additionally, the II-VI CEO Vincent Mattera Jr. said that the partnership “sets the stage for a new wave of breakthrough technologies that we believe will enable a wide range of applications that will benefit our world for decades to come.”
Apple’s Future with AR
It has been reported that the iPhone 13 will include a Time-of-Flight sensor. The sensor, which would be supplied by II-VI, could further help the Portrait Mode feature.
Separately, Apple recently won a patent that combines AR with thermal technology. It is supposed to make any surface touchscreen. Something to look forward to, indeed!
The Cupertino company, in addition, is also rumored to launch two headsets that would employ AR, Bloomberg reported. The future products are codenamed N421 and N301.
The N421 is supposed to be the Apple AR Glasses, a lightweight headpiece.
On the other hand, N301 will be a cinematic speaker system with a high-resolution display.
Both rumored gadgets are said to have a HomePod-style spatial audio feature, bringing a realistic AR experience.
Moreover, AR in Apple’s future even goes as far as iPhone 14, Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst claimed. The leak further adds that the AR will complement the 8K video recording of the future smartphone.
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Written by Teejay Boris
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