Verizon is Buying Jaunt XR’s Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Technology
Verizon has reportedly purchased “all” of Jaunt XR’s tech without necessarily purchasing the Disney-backed augmented reality startup itself.
According to the press release, Verizon is buying all the software and technology along with “certain other assets” from the augmented reality company. Jaunt XR was previously a virtual reality company. Interestingly, the press release indicate that Disney is acquiring all the tech without necessarily acquiring the startup. Jaunt has also not revealed whether it will continue operating as an independent unit moving forward. It is not clear whether the sale will also include the startup’s patent portfolio.
Jaunt was founded in 2013 with the specific aim of creating virtual reality video content. The startup launched a 360-degree camera and also created some of the most popular early virtual reality video productions. However, in late 2018, Jaunt pivoted away from virtual reality and into augmented reality.
Before refocusing its efforts to AR, Jaunt had been one of the most visible indie virtual reality content companies. The company collaborated with various consumer brands to help them with creating VR content. Jaunt also has its own app on various platforms including PlayStation VR, Oculus, Vive and on iOS and Android platforms.
Today’s press release has described the startup’s specialty as “the scalable creation and distribution of volumetric video of humans”, providing a hint on why Verizon might have been interested in the startup’s assets.
Jaunt’s last blog post posted on November 2018 described the company’s new system known as AR Cast that livestreamed a hologram-like 3D video of football fans which was streamed over 5G network.
The press release states that Jaunt will assist Verizon with the transitions of select portions of the software and technology for a brief time duration. Jaunt didn’t reveal, however, whether the company will continue existing after selling its assets and technology.
The deal is a high point for Jaunt after a period of uncertainty. The startup raised $65 million from Disney between 2015 and 2016, a time that also saw the company CEO Jens Christensen quit to pursue his “next adventure”. In December, Christensen’s successor at Jaunt Arthur van Hoff also quit and joined Apple this April as a senior architect of a yet to be named team.