Apple has confirmed that it has acquired the Californian start-up Mira, which specializes in augmented reality. This acquisition comes alongside the announcement of the Apple Vision Pro headset on June 4th.
Hard to miss, Apple announced on June 5, during its WWDC 2023, its Apple Vision Pro augmented reality headset. What we learn today is that at the same time, the firm was finalizing the acquisition of a Californian start-up specializing precisely in AR technologies: Mira Labs. The latter is particularly known for its augmented reality headset Mira Prism, based on the integration of a smartphone. We also know that she has contracts with Nintendo (the AR helmets of the Mario World park, that’s her), but also with the American Army.
As is often the case with acquisitions made by Apple, the financial terms of the agreement reached with Mira have not been disclosed. However, it is known that Mira has raised around $17 million since its inception, which gives us a rough idea of its value. According to two former Mira employees approached by The Verge, a tenuous link would also exist between Mira and Apple, Jony Ive, former chief designer of Apple, having, according to them, officiated as an adviser to the start-up. . Information that does not, however, tell us more about the takeover itself.
Apple enlists the services of AR specialist Mira
What we do know, however, is that Apple apparently hired at least 11 Mira employees as part of the acquisition. At least that’s what we can deduce from a private post shared on Instagram by Ben Taft, CEO of Mira, and consulted by The Verge. On the Apple side, we just split the appropriate and above all usual press release in this kind of situation: “Apple buys smaller tech companies from time to time, but we don’t usually discuss our purpose or plans“, soberly indicated the firm.
It is therefore unknown whether Apple will continue to honor the contracts Mira has signed with Nintendo and the US Army. In detail, the start-up provides its helmets for the Mario Kart attraction in Nintendo parks in Japan, and in Universal studios in Los Angeles. The Mira Prism is then used to display virtual characters and game objects to enrich the attraction as you progress, explains The Verge.
As for Mira’s military contract, it is not negligible either. The start-up notably has an agreement signed with the US Air Force for an amount estimated at just over $700,000 according to official US government records. This agreement allows Mira to provide Mira Prism Pro headsets to pilots at Travis Air Force Base (located between San Francisco and Sacramento, California). The latter are used there, among other things, to display instructions to pilots concerning their equipment, we read.
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