Latest rumor has Apple buying major VR content provider for its upcoming headset

Latest rumor has Apple buying major VR content provider for its upcoming headset
After purchasing Dark Sky and its hyperlocal weather app, Apple dipped into its wallet and reportedly bought AI firm Voysis. The latter helps digital assistants better understand the human language and Apple iPhone users hope that the acquisition will improve Siri. And now another deal is in the works, according to 9to5Mac. Apple is supposedly ready to part with $100 million to purchase NextVR.

NextVR works with various Virtual Reality headsets including those made by HTC, PlayStation, Oculus, Microsoft, and Lenovo. Based in Orange County, California, NextVR has an app for both iOS and Android devices called NextVR Now which previews the sports and entertainment programming available for NextVR users. The company has partnerships with the NBA, NFL, WWE, FOX Sports, Live Nation, and the International Champions Cup. The preview app can be viewed on your iPhone or Android handset or via a cardboard viewer (like Google Cardboard).

NextVR also owns more than 40 patents for technology related to VR video streams


With NextVR, you can put yourself courtside at NBA games, in the front row for concerts and backstage during other events. Of course, you're really sitting at home watching these events play out from the comfort of your own home. You don't have to pay for parking or overpriced food, and there is no hassle getting out of the parking lot after the game. It would be perfect for the times if there were sporting events, concerts or other live entertainment going on in the world right now.



Apple supposedly has been working on a mixed reality headset that we in the media have dubbed "Apple Glasses" (who says that we have no imagination!) If Apple does purchase NextVR, it might give us an idea when to expect the company to unveil such a device. Traditionally, Apple acquires companies that are under the radar for millions of dollars instead of billions of dollars. The companies acquired usually have a product or technology that Apple plans on using on the next iPhone. In July 2012, the company purchased biometric firm AuthenTec for $356 million and the following year, Touch ID was offered on the iPhone 5s. In April 2010, Apple paid more than $200 million for SRI International and the following year Siri debuted on the iPhone 4s.

Apple seems to follow a similar timeline even when it has to dig deeper into its wallet. For example, the largest purchase Apple ever made was the acquisition of Beats Audio for $3 billion in 2014. The following year, Apple Music launched. So if we apply this timeline to an acquisition of NextVR, we could see Apple Glasses launch sometime in 2021. Owning NextVR could give Apple exclusive content that will appeal to consumers.

The other reality that will be part of the headset is Augmented Reality or AR. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that AR, which uses computer generation information on top of a real world view, is "cool and interesting." The executive also called AR "a big idea, like the smartphone."

Apple's interest in NextVR might go beyond content. The company holds over 40 patents including some that enhance a VR stream; using this technology, NextVR delivers high-quality sporting and music events to VR headsets. Apple might have already been stealing NextVR's engineers away from the outfit. A shell company that has been hiring NextVR's engineers is rumored to belong to Apple. And reportedly, engineers who will have to move from San Diego to Cupertino have been told that they will need to relocate. Neither company would comment about the rumor.

Apple Glasses is expected to rely on a paired iPhone for processing, at least when the device is first launched. Loup Ventures' analyst Gene Munster believes that the headset could eventually be bigger than the iPhone.

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