Apple acquires virtual reality startup Spaces

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Apple bought the virtual reality startup Spaces, which develops VR solutions and its main highlight is a technology to create avatars for video conferences. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

The purchase was discovered by the Protocol website and confirmed by Apple. The company said it acquires small technology companies from time to time and has nothing to comment on.

Spaces was a division of DreamWorks Animations studio and became independent in 2016. Since then, the company has had as its main business focus the creation of virtual reality experiences in physical locations, but that has recently changed.

Change of course

Because of the reliance on shared devices and a physical location, Spaces was highly affected by the pandemic. In the last few months, the startup made layoffs, took out a loan to keep its activities going and changed course to survive.

Recently, the company announced that it was ending its main activity of experiences in virtual reality to focus on a new business model: solutions for videoconferences. Currently, the firm works on technologies that allow the user to use digital avatars in apps like Zoom, Google Meet and Skype.

“Covid-19 was like a tsunami for us,” CEO Shioraz Akmal told Protocol. “We couldn’t just sit around and wait for something to happen.” The company did not reveal details about the return brought by the new business model, but the use of avatars may have caught Apple’s attention.

The Cupertino giant is increasingly investing in augmented reality in its devices and would be developing a device focused on technology. In addition, the firm has solutions such as animated emojis, which combine with the work developed by Spaces.

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So far, however, the owner of the iPhones has not revealed what the plans are for the newly acquired startup.


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