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Apple buys AR company that worked with Nintendo

Apple has acquired Mira, an AR headset company that previously worked with Nintendo on the Mario Kart ride at Super Nintendo World.

Hot on the heels of the Apple Vision Pro announcement, its seems Apple is making serious moves to up its AR game. In a private Instagram post seen by The Verge, the CEO of LA-based startup Mira revealed that Apple had acquired the company.

“Excited for Mira’s next chapter, at Apple :),” wrote Ben Taft. “7 year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”

The post appeared to indicate that Apple was bringing at least 11 members of the Mira team across as part of the acquisition.

Apple has since confirmed the acquisition, though it supplied the usual boilerplate statement of “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans”.

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Ahead of joining Apple, Mira has worked with a number of companies and institutions to provide lightweight AR headsets, including Nintendo. It supplied the AR headsets for the Mario Kart ride at the Super Nintendo World theme parks in Japan and the US (pictured). The headset overlays Nintendo characters and items as visitors are taken around the ride.

At the opposite end of the cute and cuddly scale, Mira also has contracts with the US military. “Mira builds the most scalable augmented reality hardware + software solutions in the market- enabling frontline workforces with communication tools and information when they need it most,” says the company’s website.

The value of such a company to Apple seems about as clear as the path forward from the Apple Vision Pro. Apple will be looking to release increasingly small, light, and self-contained AR headsets over the coming years, so it’ll need all the industry expertise it can muster.

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