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Apple Acquires VR Company Spaces

By Eric Volkman – Aug 25, 2020 at 6:26PM

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As usual, the tech giant didn't provide much information about the purchase.

Apple (AAPL 1.37%) is making a move into the virtual reality (VR) segment with its latest acquisition. On Monday, the tech giant confirmed a report that it has purchased Spaces, a start-up that specializes in VR videoconferencing. As is Apple's habit, it disclosed neither the price nor the terms of the deal.

In confirming the report, Apple issued its standard terse response to information requests about its acquisitions. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a company spokesman wrote in an email.

A young woman using a VR headset.

Image source: Getty Images.

Spaces has also offered little comment on the arrangement. On the landing page of its website, it wrote that it "is heading in a new direction," without elaboration.

Occupying an interesting niche in the VR segment, Spaces concentrates on "virtualizing" live, online conferences and meetings. Among the sample videos posted to its site are a teacher conducting an algebra lesson using a blackboard to illustrate problems, and a newscaster -- complete with face mask, presumably guarding against virtual coronavirus infection -- making a broadcast with changing backgrounds behind him.

The VR segment is still at a fairly early stage of development, broadly speaking. Many small start-up companies are engaged in various aspects of the technology. So far, Apple is not known for being particularly active in the segment, although if VR becomes widespread it will surely develop its own products and solutions with the help of acquisitions such as Spaces.

Apple did not have a particularly memorable day on the stock exchange Tuesday. Its shares closed down by 0.8%, against a nearly 0.4% gain for the S&P 500 index.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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