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Apple hasn’t cleared the purpose behind its acquisition of AR startup Mira. The headsets developed by Mira have been built for industrial applications.
A day after tech giant Apple announced its much-awaited mixed reality headset Apple Vision Pro, it confirmed the acquisition of Los Angeles-based AR startup Mira. The Verge was first to report this news on Wednesday, June 7, citing a post from Mira CEO’s private account.
Apple’s Interest in Mira
Later, Apple as well confirmed the news regarding the acquisition. The Los Angeles-based augmented reality (AR) startup Mira makes headsets for different industries as well as the US military. It’s unclear how much did Apple pay for the Mira acquisition. The AR startup has raised a total of $17 million in funds to date.
Sources familiar with the matter said that Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive, was an advisor to Mira at one point. Apple didn’t disclose much about the acquisition, but in a statement to The Verge it said:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Also, there’s no clarity on what the future holds for Mira after Apple’s acquisition. It’s also unclear whether Apple will continue the operations with Mira’s military contracts. Considering the way that Apple operates, it’s unlikely that the tech giant would continue with these contracts.
As per the private post on Mira CEO Ben Taft’s Instagram account, Apple brought on at least 11 of Mira’s employees as part of the acquisition. In his post caption, Taft wrote:
“Excited for Mira’s next chapter, at Apple. 7-year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”
Mira’s Headset and Contracts
The newly unveiled mixed-reality headset Apple Vision Pro features innovations packed toward personalized virtual reality. On the other hand, Mira’s headsets have been purpose-built for industrial applications.
Some of the current use cases of Mira’s headsets include steel,c chemical, food manufacturing, defense, and mining services. Mira has secured military contracts, including a small agreement with the US Air Force and a $702,351 agreement with the Navy. The Air Force contract allows military pilots at Travis Air Force Base to utilize Mira’s Prism Pro headset, which displays heads-up equipment instructions and other relevant information.
“Mira builds the most scalable augmented reality hardware + software solutions in the market- enabling frontline workforces with communication tools and information when they need it most,” the company notes on its website.
Additionally, other prominent implementations of Mira’s AR headsets are for Universal Studios in Nintendo World theme parks. Mira has also secured a significant contract with Nintendo World for the integration of their headsets into the Mario Kart ride at theme parks in Japan and LA’s Universal Studios. These headsets provide an immersive experience by displaying virtual characters and items from the game as riders progress through the ride.