Apple is rumored to have Augmented Reality (AR) as their next venture since the tech company may have more interest in virtual reality than what reports have stated in the past.
According to a report from Techcrunch, the Cupertino-based company confirmed the acquisition of VR broadcasting startup NextVR. The action made by Apple was also be confirmed in a note on NextVR's website that said the startup company is "heading in a new direction."
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"Thank you to our partners and fans around the world for the role you played in building this awesome platform for sports, music, and entertainment experiences in Virtual reality," it said on the NextVR note.
Although Apple has been pushing to have mobile AR, the company still disclaims public interest or activity in the VR world, letting Facebook handle that domain, making the acquisition seem a little strange.
The Verge previously reported that NextVR and Apple remained silent for multiple weeks, declining to give any confirmation about the acquisition. However, 9To5Mac confirmed that Apple did indeed buy NextVR, valuing the acquisition around $100 million.
Most of the engineers who developed NextVR are being hired by Apple. It was also stated in the report that both of the companies have begun informing employees from San Diego that they will need to relocate to Cupertino.
Apple purchased NextVR as part of its plan to have augmented reality features; AR glasses and headset are on the way
According to Techcrunch, Apple is planning to ship a device in 2022 that combines VR and AR features in a form comparable to the Oculus Quest. It is also one of the evidence indicating that Apple may have deeper interests and plans for virtual reality features.
However, The Verge said it is not yet clear how Apple will use the technology created by NextVR. The AR glasses and headset may have VR features similar to how the HoloLens, Magic Leap One, and Windows Mixed Reality devices work.
Apple recently acquired Apple TV Plus, allowing Apple users to stream the live event content captured with NextVR's cameras to smartphones and other devices that may be partnered with any eventual VR and AR devices.
NextVR was founded in 2009, ahead of the modern VR wave launched by Oculus VR's record-breaking Kickstarter campaign in 2012 which was owned by Facebook. The company also raised more than $115 million over the last decade.
NextVR focused on capturing and compressing videos and photos in 360 degrees feature regardless of what device the content would be viewed on, instead of circulating on the hardware side of displaying VR content.