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Apple is planning to acquire California-based virtual reality company NextVR in a deal said to be worth $100 million, 9to5Mac reported over the weekend.

nbainvrnextvr.jpg

NextVR is a company that melds virtual reality with sports, music, and entertainment, offering VR experiences for watching live events on VR headsets from PlayStation, HTC, Oculus, Google, Microsoft, and other manufacturers.

NextVR has established partnerships with the NBA, Wimbledon, Fox Sports, the WWE and more, according to the NextVR website. NextVR also has more than 40 patents, some of which are related to upscaling video streaming that may be of interest to Apple.

The Orange County, California company has been struggling in recent years, failing to secure Series C funding in 2019, leading to a 40 percent staff reduction.


Though Apple has not yet closed the acquisition or confirmed its plans to purchase NextVR, 9to5Mac says that a shell company formed this year that's believed to be Apple is hiring most of the engineers from NextVR. Employees at NextVR have also reportedly been told that they'll need to relocate from Southern California to Cupertino.

For the last several years, rumors have indicated that Apple is exploring multiple augmented, virtual, and mixed reality headset options, and has some kind of AR/VR headset project in the works.

apple-glasses-concept-macrumors.jpg
A smart glasses concept

Most of the rumors have coalesced around augmented reality "smart glasses" that would work as an iPhone accessory, but there have also been rumors of work on a much more powerful VR headset that would feature an 8K display for each eye and that would be untethered from a computer or a smartphone.

Apple appears to be working on more than one AR/VR project, but it's difficult to tell as there have undoubtedly been many prototype designs. Current rumors suggest an AR/VR headset could be released as early as 2021.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Acquiring NextVR for $100 Million
 

Expos of 1969

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Oh boy, dorky head set / glasses may be in the pipeline. The pipeline is somewhat clogged (supposedly) now with more useful things that Apple can't quite finalise so let's not hold our breath. But just in case these are on the way... "Take My Money!!!" /s
 
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4jasontv

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About a year ago I watched an NBA game on my Rift and I wasn't a fan of the experience. I wasn't used to wearing it for hours at a time, the footage got pixley, and I had a really hard time focusing on the court. What I mean is, the footage limited you to where the camera was and it never seemed to be placed someplace that let me see what all the players were doing. Typically it was on the half court or just out of bounds on the floor behind the rim. I like the novelty of being able to see a great dunk or two, but it worked a lot better for highlights than games.

I really hope Apple can do something. I could see this being awesome if was an AR solution when watching games on TV. Like the ability to monitor fantasy tracking or live stats of other games or something as that is content that only one person in the room might care about.
 
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DevNull0

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This is great news. I've checked out NextVR several times and thought it sounded like a great idea but they hide the content (if there actual is any). I've written it off as vaporware. I don't see how to actually find out what content there is much less play it.

If Apple can deliver a usable product that delivers on half the promise of NextVR, it's going to be an amazing product. That said, I have zero interest in sports content but like it for the music and entertainment, so I hope Apple isn't planning to make a sports service.
 

Justanotherfanboy

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This is great news. I've checked out NextVR several times and thought it sounded like a great idea but they hide the content (if there actual is any). I've written it off as vaporware. I don't see how to actually find out what content there is much less play it.

If Apple can deliver a usable product that delivers on half the promise of NextVR, it's going to be an amazing product. That said, I have zero interest in sports content but like it for the music and entertainment, so I hope Apple isn't planning to make a sports service.
Concerts would be amazing... especially given Apple’s history with paradigm shifts around music. Museums... I’d certainly pay $50 to casually stroll through the Louvre, sans tourists, in 8k from my own home. I’m not into watching sports, but I realize that’s a huge market & as a shareholder gotta really hope they don’t underserve that group.
Tradeshows... I could see gamers going in for attending E3 or the like via VR, where the developers could actually code whatever they wanted you to experience when you “walk into their booth”- it could be like you walk into the game world, rather than an area where you can wait your turn to play a quick demo.

Lol, that’s the couple I can think of… I really hope Apple surprises us with some other epic use case that isn’t even on my radar- the above would be an excellent start for me though & I’d buy in.
 

Professor Rucy

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Why do half the big articles on MR in the last week start with: “as reported a few days ago on 9to5Mac”?
Lol, ouch... MR is getting scooped left & right!

My observation with a new Apple announcement:
  • 9to5Mac breaks the news;
  • Macrumors shows it in a how-to video;
  • AppleInsider has the TL;DR on it;
  • iMore giggles about how cool-beans it is;
  • Cult of Mac finds it on sale, and
  • The Verge bitches about it.
 

craigmak

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2017
103
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About a year ago I watched an NBA game on my Rift and I wasn't a fan of the experience. I wasn't used to wearing it for hours at a time, the footage got pixley, and I had a really hard time focusing on the court. What I mean is, the footage limited you to where the camera was and it never seemed to be placed someplace that let me see what all the players were doing. Typically it was on the half court or just out of bounds on the floor behind the rim. I like the novelty of being able to see a great dunk or two, but it worked a lot better for highlights than games.

I really hope Apple can do something. I could see this being awesome if was an AR solution when watching games on TV. Like the ability to monitor fantasy tracking or live stats of other games or something as that is content that only one person in the room might care about.
I watched NBA all-star weekend in VR and thought it was great. Probably wouldn’t do it for a normal Tuesday game but maybe.
 

DevNull0

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Jan 6, 2015
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I really hope Apple can do something. I could see this being awesome if was an AR solution when watching games on TV. Like the ability to monitor fantasy tracking or live stats of other games or something as that is content that only one person in the room might care about.

why would that be a good use case for AR? Most of use have a smartphone on us when watching content that we can use to view tangental info. Like watching a movie and looking up an actor on IMDB on your iPhone because you're sure you recognize them. Most people in the room care more about enjoying the movie on the big screen than talking about the actors.
 
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TomaxXamot

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Jan 15, 2009
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Didn’t Apple buy a company called Next in the past? Dunno how well that turned out for them...

Ha can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but the answer of course is extremely well.
As far as AR/VR goes, I think that, if done right, it could be Apple’s next big thing. They are incredibly well positioned to offer an amazing experience considering everything they have in their media ecosystem and all their partnerships- movies/TV, music, games etc.
 
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cmaier

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Ha can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but the answer of course is extremely well.
As far as AR/VR goes, I think that, if done right, it could be Apple’s next big thing. They are incredibly well positioned to offer an amazing experience considering everything they have in their media ecosystem and all their partnerships- movies/TV, music, games etc.

Pretty easy to tell he’s being sarcastic :)
 
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