About the team
Industry: Augmented Reality hardware & enterprise software
Product: Hands-free AR glasses and enterprise-ready software
Year Founded: 2016
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Reason to try: Needed a manufacturing partner that could supply high-quality parts without a costly investment in tooling
Favorite features: Access to overseas Multi Jet Fusion capabilities for rapid production of fully functional, cost-effective units
Result: High-quality, customer-ready units that provide continual customer feedback and drive design improvements
Mira Labs is a smartphone-powered augmented reality system that helps to digitize and document workflows and connect frontline workers through hands-free AR glasses and enterprise-ready software.
“Mira Labs’ Prism headset is an enterprise-grade wearable that allows businesses to deploy augmented reality,” says Haley Harrington, product design engineer at Mira Labs. “Mira avoids the high barriers to entry often associated with AR, including managing and securing new devices, as well as prohibitive cost.”
Harrington and the entire team at Mira Labs are looking to enable a hands-free world, in which workers can stay aware, while still reporting and documenting information.
The Challenge: Overcoming Slow Production Cycles While Staying Dynamic
Since augmented reality is still in its early phase, solutions can take a long time to test and validate. Along with the inherent issues that come with frontier technology comes a need for dynamic development, in order to take what’s learned and apply that knowledge to new hardware.
“The challenge lies in producing hardware that is high enough fidelity to get valuable feedback from real people in the world. It needs to work, and work well,” Harrington says. “In an ideal world, we should be able to leave prototypes with customers, so that we can see what it’s like in their everyday lives, because that provides us with the most valuable insights.”
However, getting that information back and iterating on design was a challenge for the team. Getting the high resolution parts they needed at low cost, with high quality, was difficult.
“Those units need to be produced quickly, relatively inexpensively, and without the investment in tooling that makes design and engineering changes difficult and costly,” Harrington says.
Solution: Supply Chain Consolidation and Flexibility with Fictiv
“Fictiv gave us access to overseas MJF printing that allowed us to quickly produce cost-effective units.”
The Mira Labs team leveraged Fictiv’s HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing capabilities, with economical overseas production to produce fully functional units at high volume.
“Fictiv gave us access to overseas MJF printing that allowed us to quickly produce cost-effective units,” says Harrington. “Fictiv has allowed us to produce fully functional units at a volume that would traditionally have been very difficult to manage.”
Harrington says Multi Jet Fusion gives Mira Labs’ product a polished appearance that’s customer-ready, allowing the company to meet its goal to put prototypes in customers’ hands in exchange for product feedback.
“MJF allows us to produce complete, functional units, with a high-quality look and feel, that we’re able to get into the hands of our customers,” Harrington says. “Through that process, we’re able to get continual feedback and make important improvements to our design.”