Virtual reality startup Spaces has been acquired by Apple Inc., according to a media report.
Spaces is a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation, the Glendale studio owned by Comcast Corp. It was spun off the company in early 2016, just months before the acquisition by Comcast closed.
Spaces originally developed virtual reality experiences, including “Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future” for theme parks and movie theaters. After the coronavirus pandemic closed those venues, the company pivoted to developing a virtual reality add-on to traditional video conferencing products to allow users to take part in video meetings with an animated avatar, according to tech news website Protocol.
Apple confirmed the acquisition after the Protocol story was published. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” a company spokesperson told Protocol via email.
At the Spaces website, all the company said is that it was heading in a new direction.
“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,” a statement at the website said.
Apple has been working on its own virtual reality headset for some time and has acquired a number of augmented reality and VR startups to build out its staff for the project. Apple has yet to officially acknowledge plans to launch such a headset, according to Protocol.