The new deal could see Apple juggle several balls, including contracts with the U.S. military and Nintendo, Verge reported. Mira provides hands-free headsets with a range of industrial applications in the steel, mining, chemical, and defense industries.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Apple in a statement to the outlet.
Details of the acquisition cost are sparse, but data from PrivCo valued Mira between $50 million to $100 million back in 2020. Pundits believe the valuation could be even higher, given a recent $17 million raise backed by Sequoia and Blue Bear Capital.
“Excited for Mira’s next chapter, at Apple :),” Mira CEO Ben Taft said via Instagram. “7 year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”
The deal sees Apple retain 11 of Mira’s employees, but it remains unclear if the AR firm will continue its industrial contracts. Mira has a $702,351 agreement with the U.S. Navy and an additional contract with the Airforce that allows pilots to use its Prism Pro headset for heads-up display purposes.
Mira’s acquisition comes on the heels of the Vision Pro launch by Apple, a move which is touted to drive adoption rates for a subdivision of Web3. Tech entrepreneurs expect that Vision Pro’s launch could push the metaverse and virtual worlds to the mainstream, but Apple’s exclusion of the words during the launch paints a different story.
With a hefty price tag of $3,499, Vision Pro pushes the limits for AR glasses, allowing users to still interact with the real world via “passthrough video.” The device is expected to go public in early 2024 in the U.S. and will hit global markets in the second and third quarters of 2024.
Meta will be a close competition
Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta (NASDAQ: META) has been working on releasing its first AR glasses in 2024, pitting in a two-horse race with Apple. The company first shared details of its plans in early 2022, splurging billions in their development amid dwindling fortunes in the stock market and a falling user base.
The company’s metaverse division rose to over 18,000 employees, demonstrating a clear statement of intent to be an industry leader. Despite predicting a 2024 launch date, experts are unsure if Meta will be able to meet its self-imposed deadline in the face of several hindrances against its quest.
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