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Apple Acquires AR Headset Startup Mira In Strategic Move

The acquisition follows hot on the heels of Apple's recent unveiling of its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset

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Apple has acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR headset startup, for an undisclosed amount, according to reports from The Verge. The acquisition follows hot on the heels of Apple's recent unveiling of its highly anticipated Vision Pro headset, marking the company's ambitious entry into the AR arena.

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Ben Taft, Mira gained recognition for its lightweight and user-friendly AR headsets. Initially targeting consumer applications, the company later shifted its focus towards industrial deployments, which proved to be a more lucrative market. Notably, Mira secured several military contracts, including agreements with the US Air Force and Navy, showcasing its capabilities in delivering cutting-edge AR solutions.

Investors, including Blue Bear Capital, Happiness Ventures, and Sequoia, have displayed confidence in Mira's potential by investing a total of USD 17 million into the startup prior to its acquisition by Apple. The funds were primarily directed towards the development of advanced heads-up displays and software for creating immersive AR apps, games, and experiences.

Although the exact details of the acquisition's implications on Mira's existing military contracts remain unclear, industry insiders speculate that Apple's ownership may prompt a reevaluation of these agreements. Mira CEO Ben Taft and his team are expected to continue their work under Apple's umbrella, with reports suggesting that at least 11 employees have transitioned to Apple as part of the acquisition.

Jony Ive, Apple's former product designer who played a pivotal role in shaping the company's iconic products, including the iPhone, had previously served as an advisor to Mira. This connection raises speculation about the influence Mira's technology may have on Apple's AR roadmap.

Apple's recent unveiling of the Vision Pro headset demonstrates the company's determination to compete with Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) in the AR market. The move places Apple in direct competition with Meta, intensifying the rivalry between the two tech giants, which has previously revolved around user privacy and control of developer platforms.