Apple buys Virtual Reality content streaming startup NextVR

An Apple inc. logo is displayed at their store at Yorkdale mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. confirmed it acquired NextVR, a startup that provides sports and other content for virtual-reality headsets.

The acquisition may help Apple’s development of VR and AR headsets with accompanying software and content. NextVR supplies content to several existing VR headsets, including Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and devices from Sony Corp., HTC Corp. and Lenovo.

NextVR has deals with sports leagues including the National Basketball Association and entertainment networks such as Fox Sports. The startup also has expertise in live streaming in virtual reality, which could also be useful for live concerts and games.

The Newport Beach, California-based startup officially shut down this week, saying on its website that it is “heading in a new direction.” Apple said it buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and generally does not discuss its purpose or plans. It didn’t disclose a purchase price, but website 9to5Mac reported in April that Apple was in talks to buy NextVR for about $100 million.

The deal is at least the third for Apple this year, following the purchase of Voysis, an Irish startup that focuses on voice technology, and Dark Sky, a popular weather app.