Apple confirmed Thursday that it has acquired virtual reality company NextVR,media reported. The acquisition is further evidence of Apple’s plans to enter virtual reality and related augmented reality as a new category. But so far, the company has not announced new hardware products, except for the iPhone AR software. An Apple spokesman said in a statement: “Apple regularly buys small businesses, and we do not normally disclose specific purposes or plans.” “
The Newport Beach, California-based startup has previously focused on making live or taped content from virtual reality technology, such as sporting events or concerts. The company also struck a deal with the NBA to broadcast the highlights of the 2019 NBA Finals.
NextVR raised a cumulative $116 million in 2019 and employs 95 people, according to PitchBook. Many of the company’s investors come from the entertainment industry, including Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber, Comcast Ventures and Time Warner Investments.
The landing page of NextVR’s website has been adjusted to a statement: “NextVR will embark on a new journey. Thank you to our partners and fans around the world for your role in building this amazing virtual reality sports, music and entertainment platform. “
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has supported virtual reality helmets on Mac computers in 2017, has made a brief disclosure of his views on augmented reality and virtual reality in recent years.
“If you look at augmented reality, there are some consumer apps and some enterprise apps. “That’s why I’m excited about that, there’s very little technology that has a broad future in both business and consumer. “
Apple did not disclose the price or terms of the deal, but media sources said the deal was valued at about $100 million.