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Metaio GmbH
Company typePrivate
IndustryTechnology, software, developer platforms
Founded2003; 21 years ago (2003), in Munich, Germany
Defunct2015 (2015)
FateAcquired by Apple Inc.
Munich, Germany
Area served
Key people
Thomas Alt (CEO), Peter Meier (CTO)
ParentApple Inc.
Archived May 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine

Metaio GmbH was a privately held augmented reality (AR) company that was acquired by Apple Inc. in May of 2015. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in San Francisco, California, New York City, New York, and Dallas, Texas,[1][2] Metaio provided a software development kit (SDK) for programming PC, web, mobile applications, and custom offline augmented reality applications.[3] Additionally, Metaio was the creator of Junaio, a free mobile AR browser available for Android and iOS devices.[4][5]


Metaio was founded in 2003 in Munich, Germany, by Thomas Alt and Peter Meier.[6] The company grew out of an internal project within Volkswagen that received a German grant.[7][8] In 2005 Metaio released the first end-consumer AR application called KPS Click & Design in Germany, which allowed the user to put virtual furniture into an image of their living room.[9] Metaio also released the Unifeye Platform, which enabled third-party developers to create their own commercial AR solutions. In 2006, Metaio released the first browser plug-in for web-based AR applications. Shortly thereafter, Metaio launched the first fully integrated AR application for mobile devices, Junaio.[10] From 2010 to 2012, Metaio presented the first commercial 2-D Markerless Feature tracking application for print and television on a consumer mobile device and as a result, won the ISMAR Tracking Contest in 2011.[11][12][13]

Since 2006, Metaio has organized insideAR, an annual event solely dedicated to augmented reality developers, researchers, and businesses.[14] In 2013 insideAR was the world's largest Augmented Reality Conference.[15]

In May 2015, Metaio cancelled its upcoming conference and discontinued all sales of its products. On May 28, 2015, media outlets reported that Apple Inc. had bought the company, and finalized the purchase on May 21 or 22.[16][17]


Metaio offered products focused on product design, engineering, operations, marketing, sales, and customer support.[18]

Metaio SDK - The Metaio SDK allows developers to use content without prior encryption. No offline tools or server-side encryption is needed when generating and deploying 3D assets and tracking patterns. The SDK is currently supported on Android, iOS and Windows with an additional plugin for development in Unity for Android, iOS, Windows, and OS X platforms.[19]

Metaio Creator - The Metaio Creator is an augmented reality software that allows users to create a complete AR scenario without specialized programming knowledge.

Metaio CVS - Metaio Continuous Visual Search (CVS) manages marker searching online for image recognition.

Metaio Cloud - Allows developers to upload download, store, and manage content online.

JunaioJunaio is an augmented reality browser for mobile devices.

Metaio Engineer - Provides solutions for technical assignments from the visualization of future facilities, within a current production environment, illustrating working instructions on a component to deviate measurement between virtuality and reality.


In 2011, Reuters wrote an article about Metaio in collaboration with ST-Ericsson, announcing the company as "The World-Wide Leader in Augmented Reality Technology."[20] In 2012, The Next Web announced: "…While there are a slew of apps that tap GPS, image recognition, visual search and other elements of augmented reality, Junaio does a good job of merging them all."[21]



  1. ^ metaio LinkedIn company profile, Retrieved 2012/7/2[self-published source]
  2. ^ Metaio Opens New Office Retrieved 2014/1/6[self-published source]
  3. ^ Metaio SDK Information Page Retrieved 2014/1/6[self-published source]
  4. ^ Metaio releases junaio 2.0 for App Store Retrieved 2014/1/[self-published source]9
  5. ^ Metaio releases junaio for Android Retrieved 2014/1/9[self-published source]
  6. ^ metaio private company information, Retrieved 2014/1/9[self-published source]
  7. ^ Harro Ten Wolde, Tarmo Virki, "Look, no hands! Augmented reality gets a grip", Reuters, 2012/06/21
  8. ^ Abgleich zwischen realer und digitaler Welt, Retrieved 2009/9/28
  9. ^ metaio gewinnt Deutschen Internet-Preis, Computerwoche, Retrieved 2007/12/11
  10. ^ junaio short Movie, YouTube Retrieved 2012/6/20[self-published source]
  11. ^ Metaio Presents at ISMAR 2011 Retrieved 2014/1/9[self-published source]
  12. ^ junaio 3D Tracking For the Win at ISMAR, Junaio Blog news Retrieved 2011/10/28[self-published source]
  13. ^ The Auggies 2012, Augmented Reality Event Retrieved 2012/5/8
  14. ^ insideAR - Augmented Reality conference Archived 25 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, metaio Web page Retrieved 2012/7/23[self-published source]
  15. ^ Metaio hosts world's largest augmented reality event Retrieved 2014/1/6[self-published source]
  16. ^ "Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Company Metaio". techcrunch. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  17. ^ Wakabayashi, Daisuke (28 May 2015). "Apple Buys German Augmented-Reality Firm Metaio". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  18. ^ Metaio Enterprise Page Retrieved 2014/1/6[self-published source]
  19. ^ metaio at Mobile World Congress 2012: Unleashes Augmented City Platform, Daily Deal Media, Preetam Kaushik, Retrieved 2012/2/28
  20. ^ ST-Ericsson and metaio to extend collaboration in mobile augmented reality, Reuters, Retrieved 2011/11/28
  21. ^ AR browser junaio relaunches with a new look, feel and API, supporting HTML5 and JavaScript, Paul Sawers, The Next Web, Retrieved 2012/20/06
  22. ^ The Auggie Awards™ - Winners Announced!
  23. ^ Volkswage Augmented Reality Tracking Challenge Results Retrieved 2014/1/6
  24. ^ ISMAR 2013 Awards Retrieved 2014/1/6
  25. ^ The Auggies 2012, Augmented Reality Event, Retrieved 2012/5/8
  26. ^ Augmented Planet Reader's Choice Awards 2011 Results Retrieved 2014/1/9
  27. ^ Best App Ever, Retrieved 2011/12/10
  28. ^ Readers Choice Awards 2010 Winners, Retrieved 2012/1/7
  29. ^ Deutscher Versandhandels Kongress 2010: Branchen-Oscars vergeben, Olaf Groß, Retrieved 2010/10/5
  30. ^ Innovation seekers, Retrieved 2009/5/7
  31. ^ metaio gewinnt Deutschen Internet-Preis, Retrieved 2007/11/12