On the heels of the unveiling of the Vision Pro headset, it has emerged that Apple has acquired Los Angeles-based Mira, which makes AR headsets for the Mario Kart ride at Universal Studios Hollywood as well as the U.S. military, according to Mira and Apple.
It’s unclear when the purchase was made or if any of the technology is used in the Apple Vision Pro headset unveiled at WWDC this week. The price of the acquisition wasn’t disclosed and Apple issues its standard statement about the company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride at Universal Studios uses “cutting-edge technology” to “steer through underwater courses and courses in the clouds, collecting coins and throwing shells to win the Golden Cup.” As shown in the POV video below the headset creates an immersive experience by showing characters, obstacles, and other racers in your view. (The AR portion starts at around 6 minutes.)
The news of the purchase comes mere days after Apple’s unveiled Vision Pro, an extremely high-end headset due to release next year. According to Jaycon Systems, which developed the Mario Kart headset in collaboration with Universal Studios, the headset uses Mira’s AR lends technology, which will likely play a role in future Vision headsets, including a rumored lower-cost model expected to arrive in 2025.
According to a private Instagram post by Mira CEO Ben Taft seen by The Verge, Apple has brought on at least 11 of Mira’s employees. Taft wrote, “Excited for Mira’s next chapter, at Apple 🙂 7 year journey from dorm room to acquisition.”
Update 12:10 pm ET:Clarified Mira’s role in the development of the Mario Kart headset.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.