- Apple is serious in its push for augmented reality technologies
- The company recently bought a small VR startup
- The results and benefits of the acquisition remain unknown at the moment
Apple recently acquired a virtual reality experience company, signaling its intention to further its push for augmented reality.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on some head-mounted display devices for AR use, such as the so-called “Apple Glass.” Various patents and the advancements seen via ARKit, as well as other technologies present on the iPhone and iPad Pro, show that the company is serious in its AR push.
Now, a new report reveals just how Apple plans to further its AR push. The Cupertino tech giant recently acquired Spaces, a VR startup that spun out of DreamWorks Animation in 2016, Protocol reported.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesperson said in an email to the outlet after news broke of the acquisition.
Spaces did not respond to Protocol’s request for comment.
Spaces is known for developing location based VR parks and attractions that let consumers immerse themselves in virtual worlds. The startup currently has several different VR experiences in Washington D.C., Tokyo and other locations.
One such VR experience, “Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future,” lets up to four players join forces and fight against robot overlords in the world of “Terminator.” A short video shows four people, clad in VR gear, playing side by side in the same place.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Spaces has had a hard time keeping afloat. It was forced to lay off some staffers and take out a loan to survive.
The company was also forced to shift to another focus. Instead of facing losses due to the decrease in the number of people paying for its attractions, Spaces pivoted to building VR add-ons to videoconferencing platforms like Zoom.
Spaces’ add-on allowed Zoom participants to take part in meetings using animated avatars and environments complete with interactive whiteboards. It also allowed users to present news briefings, lectures and more.
“We like to keep busy making things,” Spaces CEO Shiraz Akmal told Protocol a few months ago. “We can’t sit around waiting a year for something to
Spaces, in line with its acquisition by Apple, recently announced via its website that it is “heading in a new direction.”
It’s currently unclear, however, if it will work on VR at Apple. What’s clear at the moment is that the Cupertino tech giant is busy preparing its future AR devices.