- Apple acquires Los Angeles-based AR startup Mira, known for producing headsets for companies and the US military.
- The acquisition comes shortly after Apple’s introduction of the Vision Pro mixed reality headset, signaling its focus on expanding in the AR industry.
- Mira’s notable contracts include collaborations with the US Air Force, Navy, and Nintendo World, enhancing military operations and augmenting the Mario Kart ride experience.
In a significant development for the tech giant, Apple has acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based augmented reality (AR) startup known for producing headsets utilized by various companies, including the US military. The acquisition was confirmed by Apple following a post on the CEO’s private Instagram account and verified by sources familiar with the matter, as reported by The Verge.
Mira, which had raised approximately $17 million in funding to date, garnered attention for its cutting-edge AR headsets, designed to enhance the experiences of users by overlaying virtual objects onto the real world. The startup’s notable clients include the US Air Force, Navy, and even Nintendo World, where its headsets were incorporated into the popular Mario Kart ride at theme parks in Japan and Universal Studios, Los Angeles.
Apple’s acquisition of Mira comes on the heels of its recent unveiling of the Vision Pro, a highly-anticipated mixed reality headset priced at $3,499. Marketed as a groundbreaking “spatial” computing platform, the Vision Pro aims to redefine the way users interact with digital content, seamlessly merging the virtual and physical worlds. The acquisition of Mira suggests Apple’s strategic move to solidify its position in the growing AR industry and further expand its capabilities in delivering innovative AR experiences to its user base.
Although the exact financial details of the acquisition remain undisclosed, it is widely speculated that Apple paid a significant sum for Mira’s expertise and technology. Notably, Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief, was an advisor to Mira at one point, highlighting the startup’s prominence and industry connections.
In response to the acquisition, Apple issued its customary statement, refraining from divulging specific details about its intentions or plans for the newly acquired company. However, given Apple’s track record, it is improbable that the military contracts previously held by Mira will continue under Apple’s ownership.
The military contracts that Mira had secured involved providing augmented reality solutions to enhance the performance of frontline workforces. This included projects such as equipping military pilots at Travis Air Force Base with the Prism Pro headset, which displayed crucial equipment instructions in a heads-up display format. Mira’s technology aimed to empower military personnel with improved communication tools and access to essential information in critical situations.
Apple’s acquisition of Mira also encompasses the addition of at least 11 employees from the startup to its workforce. CEO Ben Taft confirmed this development through a private Instagram post, where he shared employee badges and expressed his excitement for Mira’s next chapter as part of Apple. Taft’s post marked the culmination of a remarkable seven-year journey from the startup’s humble beginnings in a dorm room to its acquisition by one of the world’s most influential technology companies.