The Verge reports that Apple has acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR (augmented reality) startup that provides headset devices to other companies and the U.S. military, and Apple has confirmed the acquisition.
Apple just yesterday unveiled the Vision Pro, a $3,499 mixed reality headset that Apple calls a new “spatial” computing platform. It’s unclear how much Apple paid to acquire Mira, but it’s reported that Mira has received about $17 million (currently about RMB 121 million) in funding. According to two former employees who asked not to be named, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s former design director, was a consultant to Mira.
Apple issued its usual acquisition statement, “Apple sometimes acquires small technology companies, and we don’t usually discuss our aims or plans.” It’s unclear whether Apple will continue Mira’s military contracts, but that’s highly unlikely based on the way Apple operates. mira’s military contracts include a small agreement with the U.S. Air Force and a $702,351 agreement with the Navy.
According to Mira’s website, “Mira offers the most scalable augmented reality hardware and software solutions on the market, providing frontline employees with the communication tools and information they need most.” Another big contract for Mira is with Nintendo World, whose theme parks in Japan and Universal Studios Los Angeles use its Mira headsets to add interactive effects to Mario Kart games. mira’s headsets display virtual characters and objects from the games, giving visitors a taste of augmented reality technology during their experience.
At least 11 Mira employees have joined Apple as part of the acquisition, according to a private Instagram post by Mira CEO Ben Taft, who showed off some employee badges and wrote in the caption, “Excited to see Mira enter its next chapter at Apple :). ” He also wrote, “A 7-year journey from dorm room to being acquired.”