US technology giant Apple has confirmed it has indeed purchased virtual reality company NextVR. The company specializes in recording live events like concerts and sports matches to be experienced in Virtual Reality and currently partners the likes of NBA and NASCAR for its services.
Apple confirmed the purchase to CNBC, and although terms of the deal were not disclosed, the 9to5mac.com website reported that the acquisition values NextVR at around $100m (€92.3m). In a brief statement on the holding page of its website, NextVR said that it is “heading in a new direction” and thanked its partners and fans for helping to build the platform.
In a statement, Apple gave Bloomberg when responding to news it has acquired a company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
It’s unclear how Apple may use the technology NextVR created, but the company is reportedly working on a pair of augmented reality glasses as well as some type of headset. and one or both of those devices may have a VR component similar to how Windows Mixed Reality devices, the HoloLens, and the Magic Leap One operate. It also now has Apple TV Plus, giving it an app to stream the live event content captured with NextVR’s cameras to smartphones and other screens that may pair with any eventual AR and VR devices.
According to Crunchbase, NextVR has raised more than $115 million over the last decade. The company was founded way back in 2009, ahead of the modern VR wave instigated by Facebook-owned Oculus VR’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Instead of focusing on the hardware side of displaying VR content, NextVR was founded around the capture and compression of video for experiencing it in 360 degrees regardless of what device the content would be viewed on.