Apple confirms acquisition of virtual reality company NextVR

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Apple has confirmed it’s in the midst of acquiring virtual reality company NextVR, a startup that’s provided its users with sports-related content for virtual reality (VR) headsets.

Located in California, NextVR boasts a decade of VR experience, and the company enables users to view live events using VR headsets from PlayStation, Oculus, HTC, Microsoft and Lenovo. The cost of the acquisition is expected to ring in at $100 million, according to 9to5Mac.

This acquisition should come as no surprise to those familiar with Apple’s own virtual reality endeavors. The company has been steadfast in its efforts to carve out space within the market and is rumored to have plans to create an Apple AR-focused headset.

The tech giant has also acquired a number of smaller tech firms in the AR and VR spaces in the past, including Flyby Media nearly four years ago.

Before confirmation of the acquisition, NextVR closed its doors and updated its website to say that its “heading in a new direction.” In a statement related to the acquisition, an Apple spokesman shared: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Reports indicate an Apple-formed shell company has been hiring many of the engineers who developed NextVR’s product line. At this time, the acquisition isn’t official, but the two companies have begun informing employees who will need to relocate from the San Diego area to the Cupertino area.

Apple’s acquisition of NextVR marks the tech giant’s third known buyout this year. Before acquiring NextVR, Apple purchased Voysis, an Irish startup focused on voice technology, along with the popular weather app Dark Sky.