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Screenshot: Axios via Spaces.com

Apple is acquiring Spaces, a virtual reality firm that recently pivoted from creating theme park attractions to bringing traditional video conferencing software to VR headsets.

Why it matters: Apple has shown continued interest in both virtual and augmented reality and has been reportedly testing headsets internally, but it has yet to release such a product publicly.

Details: Apple confirmed the acquisition to Axios with the statement it usually offers in such cases. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

  • The company declined to comment further or say whether it will continue to offer Spaces' video conferencing software.
  • Spaces posted a thank-you note to users on its website, but didn't offer additional details.

The big picture: Axios featured Spaces in an article last month on tech companies that were pivoting in the wake of the pandemic.

  • The company had raised substantial funding around the premise of creating destination virtual reality experiences that could go in theme parks or shopping malls.
  • With the pandemic putting that business in limbo, Spaces shifted its energy and created software that uses VR headsets to allow people to have more immersive experiences with Zoom and other video conferencing services.

Apple's acquisition of Spaces was first reported by Protocol.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Nov 18, 2020 - Technology

Apple to lower commissions for small businesses on App Store

Screenshot via Apple.com

Apple announced a new program Wednesday under which it will take a smaller 15% cut from App Store sales for businesses earning less than $1 million selling their apps, rather than the standard 30% cut.

Why it matters: Apple is under fire from some critics over its rigid App Store policies that require developers to use Apple payment systems for both app sales and in-app payments in exchange for a cut of sales.

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

The latest: Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters later on Saturday, "I decided to fight back as long as I can."

1 hour ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," Axios co-founder Mike Allen interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 28 at 6 pm. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.