Apple has acquired the startup Mira, the development company responsible for the augmented reality headset currently in use at the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge attraction in Universal Studios Hollywood and in Universal Studios Japan.
Apple Acquires Mira, the Startup Responsible for the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Headsets
Apple has acquired Mira, according to The Verge. Mira is a Los Angeles-based startup that makes augmented reality headsets for private companies as well as the United States military. Apple has brought on at least 11 of Mira’s employees as part of the acquisition.
Apple confirmed the news only one day after releasing details on its own headset within the virtual reality space, the Vision Pro, which will be debuting at a cost of $3,499. Apple’s newest device seeks to blend virtual reality and augmented reality into one product. Apple CEO Tim Cook describes it as “the first product you look through, not at.” We did a full write-up of their announcement. Check it out here.
Details regarding the Mira acquisition are still murky; it not apparent how much Apple paid for the company. The startup had been able to raise roughly $17 million in investor funding to date. In addition, Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief, was an advisor to the startup at one point, though this information was shared only on the condition of anonymity.
Apple stated the company “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” They have not yet confirmed any future intentions regarding Mira’s current military contracts, which include a small agreement with the U.S. Air Force and a $702,351 agreement with the Navy.
Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge Attraction
Another major Mira contract holds is with Nintendo World, which utilizes the company’s headsets for the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge attraction in both Universal Studios Hollywood and in Universal Studios Japan. The headset, which was developed in collaboration with Jaycon Systems, shows virtual characters and items from the video game to augment the ride as guests progress through it.
This is the visor that attaches to Mira’s augmented reality headset aboard the ride. We have video footage of the attraction for you to take a look at below.
The Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge attraction is an indoor dark ride on a track. The experience features large screens and uses augmented reality technology to mimic the action that takes place within the video game franchise “Mario Kart.” Riders are given an opportunity to “race” through the attraction within their cart and score points by participating in mini-games along the way.
Watch our full queue tour and ride POV without AR video below.
And the full ride POV with AR is below.
Apple has not yet made a statement on the future of this technology within Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge.
Take a look at our Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge coverage using the links below:
- PHOTOS, VIDEO: Full Tour of Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, Ride Both With and Without AR at Universal Studios Hollywood
- Mario Kart Popcorn Bucket Finally Races into Universal Studios Hollywood
What are your thoughts and opinions on Apple acquiring Mira? We’d like to see them in the comments below.