Apple just acquired NextVR for magical, virtual event presence

Chris Burns - May 14, 2020, 2:08 pm CDT
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Apple just acquired NextVR for magical, virtual event presence

The latest major acquisition made by iPhone company Apple was that of NextVR, a company that deals primarily in the broadcast of sports events in virtual reality. Users of NextVR’s platform in the past have had access to NBA games for basketball, boxing, NHRA racing, WWE (wrestling events), ICC soccer, and other events. This system is still active (for the moment) on the VR platform Oculus GO.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s acquisition of NextVR is confirmed. Rumor of this acquisition appeared in April of this year. About a month ago, the rumors started to spread.

NextVR released their Oculus virtual reality experience as it existed earlier this month all the way back in July of 2015. Before that, we interviewed David Cole, Co-founder of NextVR. What Apple saw in the company might well be the connections they’ve made with various sports agencies and venues over the past five years. Back in 2015, NextVR was already well on their way to starting what they saw as a virtual presence revolution.

“What we deliver IS like being at the game,” said Cole. “And we CAN add broadcast elements, such as instant replay, info-graphics, for example into the experience – but – at the heart of this sea-change is ‘feeling like you are THERE.'”

NextVR delivered a litany of event experiences to users of their platform in the years between our chat with their co-founder and now, but the basics remained the same – virtual presence, and lots of options for viewing. Sports events and concerts were first on their list of must-cover experiences, and reactions kept them moving.

“Anybody who has seen our footage can attest to that experience,” said Cole. “We also can extend the viewer experience by allowing viewers to move between multiple camera positions at the event. It’s like instantly teleporting between the best possible vantage point at the game,” said Cole. “It’s HIGHLY addictive as you might imagine!”

Above you’ll see a video released by NextVR just weeks before this Apple acquisition was revealed. Below you’ll see a video from NextVR released a full three years before this article was first published.

The NextVR brand name has been a staple in first-run experiences on virtual reality headsets for the past half-decade. As of May 14, 2020, NextVR is “heading in a new direction.” The statement given by NextVR this afternoon included “Thank you to our partners and fans around the world for the role you played in building this awesome platform for sports, music and entertainment experiences in Virtual Reality.”

Take a peek at the timeline below for more recent bits and pieces of the ever-more-interesting world of Apple’s virtual reality. They’ve not released a VR headset yet, nor have they released any sort of goggles. But after rumors that’ve spanned the past full decade, we’d be more shocked if a pair of Apple Glasses DIDN’T exist in the near future – but we shall see!


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