Putting a phone into a headset to experience augmented reality and virtual reality is not new, and even the iPhone itself isn’t a complete stranger to the idea.
However, the Mira Prism is a new headset that aims to change things up a bit, while still keeping costs down for the end user. Like other efforts, though, the headset is powered by the iPhone 7 itself. But instead of using the iPhone 7’s display to show off content, the headset actually reflects the image off a plastic display. There’s a Mira app that needs to run to get things kicked off, and there will be specialized apps that need to be built for the headset’s unique implementation to really enjoy the experience.
As a result, Mira is opening up the SDK for developers, while also providing headsets to them, well ahead of a public launch of the headset itself. Mira is aiming for a holiday launch, and developers should be able to start work on apps for the headset beginning in August.
There will even be a spectator mode, which will allow a friend or family member to use their own iPhone or iPad to check out what the headset user is looking at within the app. Developers will also be able to build single player and multiplayer experiences for games and apps.
Engadget got some time with the Mira Prism, albeit briefly, but they came around impressed, especially for the fact the headset costs only $99:
“Even though I only had a few minutes with the Prism, I was impressed with what I saw. I’m used to trying on headsets that are too expensive for most people to buy, so it was a bit of a shock that it worked at all. Beyond the initial setup experience, I played a holographic game that involved maneuvering a character through a maze, which relied on the controller’s motion controls. Another game had me spinning around in my chair to destroy asteroids hovering all around me. I was particularly surprised how well Prism tracked virtual objects in AR, even though it doesn’t have any spatial mapping technology like HoloLens and Meta.”
You can pre-order the Mira Prism if you want right now from Mira’s website, for the aforementioned $99. Keep in mind there isn’t a specific launch date just yet. And of course, we have to remind you that Apple is rumored to be building its own AR-based smart glasses, which would be boosted by ARKit, but even if those are real — they’ll likely be expensive. Much more expensive than $99.
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