February 27, 2021


Future Technology

Apple buys NextVR, which broadcast sports and music in virtual reality

Angela Lang/CNET

Virtual reality got a little more real Thursday, with news Apple bought the virtual reality streaming sports company NextVR.

The company, which is located in California, is mostly known for partnerships with the NBA and Wimbledon to stream live sports from specialized cameras set up court-side to people’s headsets at home. The effect was meant to make people feel as though they’re sitting in premium seats, watching the game. NextVR also struck deals to stream music events and some of the debates from the 2016 presidential race.

Next VR raised $115.5 million, according to startup tracker Crunchbase. It was founded in 2009. Apple confirmed the news, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” The acquisition was earlier reported by 9to5Mac and Bloomberg.

Apple’s purchase marks the latest sign the iPhone maker is closer to revealing its augmented reality and virtual reality headset, which sources told CNET last year was planned for sometime in 2020. The headset is expected to use AR technology, which overlays computer images on the real world, and VR, which tricks your brain into believing you’ve been transported into a computer program. But more importantly, it was signal Apple’s next major product reveal, following the iPhone in 2007, iPad in 2010 and Apple Watch in 2014.

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