Apple Acquires AR Startup Mira
Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Mira, a Los Angeles-based startup specializing in Augmented Reality (AR) technology. The news was revealed yesterday via a private Instagram post by Mira’s CEO, and later confirmed by a source close to the matter—and Apple—reports The Verge.
The acquisition comes hot on the heels of Apple’s unveiling of the Vision Pro, a high-end mixed reality headset priced at $3,499 USD (about $4,700 CAD), described by the tech giant as a groundbreaking “spatial” computing platform. The exact details of the deal with Mira, a company that has raised approximately $17 million in funding, remain undisclosed.
Mira, whose portfolio includes developing AR headsets for various companies and US military contracts, also had Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief, as an advisor at one stage. As noted by two anonymous former employees, Apple’s intentions for continuing Mira’s military contracts are unclear, though it is anticipated that they may cease, given Apple’s typical operational strategies.
Among Mira’s significant contracts is an agreement with Nintendo World. The startup’s headsets are used for enhancing experiences like the Mario Kart ride in Japan and LA’s Universal Studios theme parks, where riders are introduced to virtual characters and game items. Other key contracts include agreements with the US Air Force and Navy, providing augmented reality tools for frontline workforces.
Upon acquisition, at least 11 employees from Mira are set to join Apple, as revealed by a post on CEO Ben Taft’s Instagram account. Alongside employee badges, Taft expressed his excitement for the company’s new chapter at Apple, marking the culmination of a “7-year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”
Apple’s boilerplate response to the acquisition was unsurprising and expected, stating, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The new Vision Pro headset won’t debut until “early 2024” in the U.S., and it’s unclear if and when this piece of expensive tech will ever make it to Canada.