Apple buys virtual reality content startup NextVR

Brief:

  • Apple bought virtual reality (VR) startup NextVR, which streams immersive entertainment and live events like concerts and sports programming. The iPhone maker confirmed the acquisition, though not the deal price of $100 million reported by 9to5Mac[1].
  • NextVR works with sports leagues like the NBA and media outlets such as Fox Sports to offer programming that people view while wearing a VR headset. NextVR provides content to makers of VR headsets including HTC, Lenovo, Sony and Oculus, which is owned by Facebook.
  • NextVR shut down last week, posting a notice on its website[2] that the company is “heading in a new direction.” Apple this year has acquired voice technology startup Voysis and weather forecasting app Dark Sky, Bloomberg News reported[3].

Insight:

Apple’s acquisition of NextVR is another sign of the iPhone maker’s plans to develop augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies, which have a variety of marketing applications such as making advertising more immersive and interactive. AR has been the more popular of the two because of its ready availability on smartphones. VR requires specialized headsets and headphones to provide a completely immersive computer-generated experience. Despite interruptions to the supply chain for electronics components, AR/VR headsets are forecast to rebound in the second half[4] of the year and show strong growth for the next few years, per International Data Corp.

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