In the virtual reality world, the last few years have not been too friendly to the hardware firms. Enterprise-centric projects including ODG, Daqri, and Meta flared out, Magic Leap collected huge sums of cash only to scale back this year’s aspirations in the face of an impending catastrophe, and almost any every technology player has experienced any sort of identity crisis. This has to lead me, as someone who closely watches the room, to keep an eye on the companies I’ve covered who seem to have been a little quiet.
I will check up on AR developer Mira over the last three years, every couple of months or so just to see if they had any updates. I encountered them in 2017 after they revealed that they had received capital from Sequoia, noteworthy as one of several organizations with little institutional investments in AR / VR. Mira pitched her device back then as Google Cardboard for AR, something that could give people a lightweight introduction to the augmented reality world. They teased cases in both office and at-home use, but there was an early tilt towards developers creating mobile applications going in.
Since it was launched publicly in 2017, the company has kept a fairly low profile, but they are finally ready to give some updates.
Mira now tells TechCrunch that they have earned capital worth around $10 million over a few top-ups, which the team collectively finds to be a seed expansion round. These financings were led by Sequoia and SF-based Happiness Ventures, in which the company did not carve out the precise terms. To now, the company has earned just under $13 million. Mira used this cash to refocus her business and fine-tune her hardware.
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By late-2018, the owners had agreed to focus exclusively on commercial headset rollouts. Prism Pro headset by the firm sidesteps the technological difficulty that has been a huge stumbling block for recent space entrants who have suffered from their products standing up in the region.
Mira ‘s software is just as straightforward as the job takes, incorporating a slot-in interface for users to put into an older generation iPhone and attaching it manually to a head-mounted camera that lets staff search objects and markers. This type of tool has many advantages. This is simpler, it is easier to run and it is easier to fit into the control system of a company’s business unit.
There is a much lower ceiling on the capabilities of these devices compared to the experience a worker might get with a HoloLens.
The added camera is for scanning objects, not creating maps of depth so holograms can be projected onto the structure of a vacuum, i.e. there are no floating whales to have here. It is not a radical rethinking of the future of work as much as it is a rethinking of previously established form factors; it is a tablet for your face which you can manipulate through taps and your look.