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Apple Uses Innovative Iris Biometrics for New VR Headset, Acquires AR Startup Mira

Apple aims to expand a range of virtual reality products, such as its new Vision Pro VR headset that supports Optic ID, with the acquisition of AR startup Mira, which provides hands-free, smartphone-powered headsets purpose-built for industrial applications

Apple AR VR

Following one of the most significant product launches in the history of the company, Apple has reportedly confirmed its acquisition of Mira, an augmented reality (AR) startup that focuses on industrial applications of the technology.

On Monday, Apple announced an AR headset called Apple Vision Pro that “seamlessly” blends the real and digital worlds. The product is equipped with innovations geared toward personalized virtual reality, including “spacial computing” capabilities and Optic ID – “a new secure authentication system that analyses a user’s iris under various invisible LED light exposures”.

Although the notion of iris biometrics is not new, Optic ID brings it to the next level of security. “A user’s Optic ID data is fully encrypted, is not accessible to apps, and never leaves their device, meaning it is not stored on Apple servers,” claims the company.

Expected to reach the market in early 2024, Apple Vision Pro is by far the most expensive mixed-reality gear offering with a preliminary pricing of $3,499. On the eve of the announcement, Apple shares reached a record-high value of $182.09.

However, Vision Pro might just be the beginning of Apple involvement with VR/AR technology. The tech giant has just acquired the developer of hands-free, smartphone-powered headsets Mira. Unlike Apple’s new product, Mira’s headsets are geared towards industrial use cases.

Current applications include chemical, steel and food manufacturing, mining services and defence. Other notable use cases of Mira’s technology include AR headsets for Universal Studios in Nintendo World theme parks.

Previously, Mira raised $17 million in funding from different investors including Blue Bear Capital and Sequoia. Apple’s investment in the company’s acquisition remains undisclosed.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.