May 18, 2024

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Apple buys AR company behind technology in Nintendo game ‘Mario Kart’

Apple buys AR company behind technology in Nintendo game ‘Mario Kart’

Augmented reality startup Mira has reportedly been bought by Apple. The Los Angeles-based company makes AR headsets for Super Nintendo World’s Mario Kart Ride and has contracts with the US Air Force and Navy. You might also remember Mira Prism, the company’s smartphone-based AR headset that Engadget demoed in 2017. Of course, Apple finally revealed its long-rumored AR headset, the Vision Pro, at its WWDC 2023 keynote conference on Monday.

the edge reports That the acquisition was verified by posts on Mira CEO Ben Taft’s private Instagram account and that Apple also confirmed it. It’s not yet clear what Apple paid for the startup — or what its plans are with the company. (Talent and Patents are logical candidates after the Vision Pro announcement.) the edge It also reports that Apple has brought at least 11 Mira employees into the fold and that former design chief Jony Ive once advised the startup.

Mira

Mira’s Air Force contract reportedly includes providing pilots with the company’s Prism Pro headset at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California, allowing them to view augmented equipment instructions. Meanwhile, the AR device designed for Nintendo World depicts virtual characters and animations from the game to make the ride feel like you’re inside a classic racing title.

In his 2017 hands-on with Mira Prism, Engadget’s Devindra Hardawar found the phone-based device surprisingly overwhelming for its price (for that era). “Although I only spent a few minutes with Prism, I was impressed by what I saw,” he said. “I’m used to trying headphones that are too expensive for most people, so it was a bit of a shock that they worked at all.” Fast forwarding to this week, Hardawar describes Apple Vision Pro as “the best mixed reality (VR/AR) experience I’ve had to date, providing an unparalleled sense of immersion” while making reservations. However, it’s still just a VR headset, with many issues endemic to the entire category.

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