Apple bought NextVR, the Californian company specializing in Virtual Reality. Rumors of the purchase had circulated in early April of this year but so far there has been no official confirmation.
Confirmation now arrived from Bloomberg; the international news agency reports having received confirmation from Apple and explains that the acquisition will contribute to the development of content for the Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality viewer of the Apple that has been talked about for some time.
NextVR offers content for current viewers such as the Facebook Oculus and similar devices from Sony, HTC and Lenovo. Prior to the acquisition of Apple, NextVR signed partnerships with NBA, Wimbledon, Fox Sports, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and others.
What Apple is most interested in is not so much the skills in Virtual Reality of NextVR employees but patents related to technologies that allow lupscaling of video streams. NextVR uses this technology to stream high quality video of music and sporting events on VR headsets. The company in question holds over 40 patents related to Virtual Reality technologies.
It is not clear how much the acquisition of NextVR cost to Apple but in April rumors reported about 100 million dollars. Meanwhile, the NextVR website has been obscured: the dedicated web page reads that the company "is taking a new direction". To Bloomberg editors, Apple confirmed the acquisition with the usual ritual phrase: Apple occasionally buys small technology companies and generally we do not discuss the purpose or the plans.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on its AR / VR viewer, code name T288, a device that would boast an 8K resolution display for each eye and would not require connection to a computer or smartphone.
Another clue that Apple intends to focus on Virtual and Augmented Reality in 2017 of Vrvana, Canadian startup Vrvana, known for a particular viewer called Totem always positively reviewed by those who have had the opportunity to try it but so far never actually marketed.