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Metaio GmbH
IndustryTechnology, Software, Developer Platforms
FoundedMunich, Germany, (2003)
Area served
Key people
Thomas Alt (CEO), Peter Meier (CTO)
ProductsSoftware Technology, Augmented Reality Solutions
ParentApple Inc

Metaio was a privately held Augmented Reality (AR) company that developed software technology and provided augmented reality solutions[clarification needed].[1][2] Headquartered in Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in San Francisco, California, New York City, New York and Dallas, Texas,[3][4] metaio provided a software development kit (SDK) for programming PC, web, mobile and custom offline augmented reality applications.[5] Additionally, Metaio was the creator of Junaio, a free mobile AR browser available for Android and iOS devices.[6][7] On 28 May 2015 it was reported that Metaio GmbH was acquired by Apple Inc for an undisclosed sum.[8]


Metaio was founded in 2003 in Munich, Germany by current CEO, Thomas Alt and current CTO, Peter Meier.[9] The company grew out of an internal project within Volkswagen that received a German grant the founders used to bootstrap their enterprise.[10][11] In 2005 Metaio released the first end-consumer AR application called KPS Click & Design in Germany which allowed the user to put virtual furniture in an image of their living room.[12] In addition, metaio also released the Unifeye Platform which enabled third-party developers to create their own commercial AR solutions. In 2006 metaio released the first browsing plug-in for web-based AR applications. Shortly thereafter, Metaio launched the first fully integrated AR application for mobile devices with the release of the mobile AR browser Junaio.[13] 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.[14][15][16]

On May 23, 2015, Metaio ceased product licensing, cancelled all pending conferences, and posted this notice on their support site:

Metaio products and subscriptions are no longer available for purchase. Downloads of your previous purchases will be available until 15 December 2015, and active cloud subscriptions will be continued until expiration. Email support will continue until 30 June 2015.[17]

On May 28, 2015, TechCrunch[18] and the Wall Street Journal[19] reported that Apple had bought the company.


Metaio offered products covering the needs of the AR value chain from product design, engineering, operations, marketing, sales and customer support.[20]

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.[21]

Metaio Creator - The metaio Creator is augmented reality software that allows users to create a complete AR scenario without specialized programming knowledge through a drag and drop interface.

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

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

JunaioJunaio is an augmented reality browser which allows users to experience mobile augmented reality through multiple channels on their mobile devices.

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


Since 2006 metaio has organized insideAR, an annual event solely dedicated to Augmented Reality developers, researchers and businesses.[22] In 2013 InsideAR was the world's largest augmented reality conference.[23]


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."[24] 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."[25]



  • Auggies Award for the "Best Campaign"[26]


  • Volkswagen Augmented Reality Tracking Challenge[27]
  • ISMAR Best Poster[28][29]


  • Auggies Award for "Best AR Demo"[30]


  • ISMAR Tracking Contest Award for "World’s first mobile 3D Tracking"[31]
  • Augmented Planet Reader's Choice Award for "Best AR Marketing Campaign" and "Best AR Developer Toolkit" for the metaio Mobile SDK[32]
  • Best Android AR App Ever – Second Place for "Best App Ever"[33]


  • Augmented Planet Reader's Choice Award – Runner up for "Best Augmented Reality"[34]
  • Innovationspreis des Jahres for "Virtual Dressing Room"[35]


  • "I caught their eye" Award, Winner in the Innovation for Tomorrow category[36]


  • First Prize at "Deutscher Internetpreis" (German Internet Award)[37]


  • Der Innovationspreis für zukunftsweisende Business-Ideen (The Innovation Award for Forward-Thinking Business Ideas)[38]


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

External links[edit]