Protocol reports that the VR startup Spaces was acquired by Apple this week, after the company made a statement via email and on its website that Spaces “is heading in a new direction.”
The company was co-founded by Brad Herman and Shiraz Akmal and initially spun out of Dreamworks in 2015. Originally, the company focused on location-based VR and produced experiences focused on popular IPs like the Terminator franchise.
However, when venues offering location-based VR experiences had to shut down earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spaces team pivoted to a new frontier. Developed in light of the pandemic, Spaces created a new PC VR app that allowed users to join video conferences from within VR. A virtual avatar would appear in programs such as Zoom, framed by an adjustable virtual camera, and the user could even make use of a virtual whiteboard as well.
Although there hasn’t been a mention of Apple from Spaces directly, last week Spaces did send out an email and updated its website with the following statement:
Spaces is 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.
As mentioned above, Protocol reports that the startup has been acquired by Apple.
There’s been lots of speculation about AR and VR products potentially arriving from Apple in the next few years, with a report in June marking 2022 as the arrival date for Apple’s first standalone VR headset. There’s been some other indicators as well, such as this recent patent filing for an Apple VR boundary system. An Apple acquisition of Spaces would no doubt look to bolster the company’s VR department as the potential headset gets closer to production and release.
UploadVR reached out to Spaces after receiving the email, to inquire about a potential acquisition, but received no response. Today we also reached out to Apple and will update if we receive a response.