Mira launches $99 Prism AR headset

Startup Mira is making a bold move into the AR market with its Prism headset. The headset, which is currently open for pre-order at $99, uses the iPhone as its power source.

The small price tag (roughly £75 or AU$125) is well below the $3,000 retail price of the Microsoft HoloLens. This is possible because the headset follows a similar approach to the Google Cardboard, except with the iPhone.

Mira apps run on an iPhone that is placed into the headset and in turn forms part of the display. The phones screen reflects onto a custom-moulded clear lens, which then overlays images on top of the real world.

The headset will be shipped with a game controller, so that players can play 360-degree gameplay. Head tracking comes from the iPhone camera so is unlikely to be extensive as more expensive headsets.

You can view teh product’s trailer here.

Making augmentation affordable   

The company has already attracted some notable supporters, despite the fact that the headset itself doesn’t contain any electronics.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and musician Will.i.am are among some of the company’s initial investors.

One of the big advantages of the Prism is that, because it is based on iOS, it can take full advantage of Apple’s ARkit platform. ARKit allows app makers draw on detailed camera and sensor data, meaning that digital objects can be mapped into 3D space.

An interesting feature of the Mira software is the Spectator Mode, which allows other users to see what the main player is seeing on their own headsets or iPhones. It is also possible to record game play videos and share them online.

Those who preorder their headset now should be looking to receive them in August. 

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