What you need to know
- Apple has reportedly acquired VR startup Spaces.
- The VR company announced it was "heading in a new direction."
- It had previously built VR games, Zoom experiences, and more.
Reported by Protocol, Apple has required Spaces, a virtual reality startup that recently had been heading towards bankruptcy. The company reportedly started as a Dreamworks Animation project but eventually pivoted to to games like "Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future."
Spaces spun out of DreamWorks Animation in early 2016, and developed a range of location-based VR experiences, including "Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future." The company had to shut down its VR centers at the beginning of the pandemic, laying off some staffers in the process, and took a small PPP loan to keep the lights on. "COVID-19 felt like a tsunami for us," Spaces CEO Shioraz Akmal told Protocol at the time.
After its foray into games, the company then built a VR experience for Zoom that would allow users to attend meetings as an animated avatar.
Spaces then pivoted to build a VR add-on to traditional video conferencing solutions like Zoom, allowing Zoom users to take part in meetings with an animated avatar. "We like to keep busy making things," Akmal said back then. "We can't sit around waiting a year for something to return."
Spaces had announced that it would be shutting down its services last week and that the company was "heading in a new direction." The direction, according to the report, seems to be pointed straight towards Cupertino.
Spaces announced that it was shutting down its existing services last week, telling visitors of its website that it was "heading in a new direction.," without revealing further details. "Thank you to our users and partners who participated in our awesome VR video conferencing product and the many people who enjoyed our VR location-based entertainment attractions found at theme parks, theaters, and more," the statement concluded.
This news is the latest in a line of VR acquisitions for the company. Apple had recently confirmed it has acquired NextVR, a live streaming AR/VR company. It is unclear if, as part of the acquisition, employees from Spaces will be hired to work at Apple or if the acquisition will focus more on the technology that the company holds. Apple and Spaces have both declined to comment about the potential acquisition.