Tech giant Apple has made a significant move in the augmented reality (AR) space by acquiring Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR startup. The news of the acquisition was revealed through a post on the CEO's private Instagram account, which was subsequently confirmed by Apple.
This news about the acquisition of the startup comes hot on the heels of Apple's recent unveiling of the Vision Pro, a cutting-edge mixed-reality headset priced at $3,499. The tech giant has positioned Vision Pro as an innovative "spatial" computing platform, aiming to redefine the user experience. The timing of Apple's acquisition suggests a strategic move to further strengthen its position in the AR market.
Mira specializes in creating AR headsets for various companies and the US military. The company's products have been utilized by various customers, including Universal Studios for attractions at its popular Nintendo World theme parks.
While the exact amount Apple paid for the acquisition remains undisclosed, Mira had previously raised approximately $17 million in funding. These investments were made based on the promise of Mira's heads-up displays and software, which enable the creation of immersive AR apps, games, and experiences. Interestingly, Jony Ive, Apple's former product design chief, had also served as an advisor to the startup at one point, as revealed by anonymous former employees. This connection suggests potential synergies between Mira's expertise and Apple's AR roadmap.
This is what Apple said in response to the news:
Apple acquires small technology companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans.
While it remains unclear if Apple will continue Mira's military contracts, given the company's modus operandi, it seems unlikely that the work will persist.
The official Mira website describes the company's mission as building the most scalable hardware and software solutions for augmented reality in the market, empowering frontline workforces with communication tools and vital information when they need it most.
According to a private post on CEO Ben Taft's Instagram account, in which he showed a number of Mira employees' badges, Apple has hired at least 11 Mira employees as part of the acquisition. Taft expressed his enthusiasm for Mira's future under Apple's wing, writing in the post's caption: “Excited for Mira’s next chapter, at Apple :) 7 year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”
With this acquisition, Apple further solidifies its commitment to innovation in AR technology. The move positions the company to capitalize on the growing demand for AR experiences across various industries, and it will undoubtedly be closely watched by both consumers and industry observers alike.