$99 AR headset is iPhone powered

$99 AR headset is iPhone powered

Technology News |
Mobile augmented reality (AR) startup Mira (Los Angeles, CA) is launching an AR headset that was created to work with existing iPhones to provide "a premium augmented reality experience at a fraction of the price."
By Rich Pell

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Described as a “a minimalist, untethered AR headset that works seamlessly with the iPhone,” the Prism headset contains no active electronics and uses much of an existing iPhone for its functions. For example, the headset’s apps run on the iPhone and the phone’s screen is also used as part of the Prism’s display.

To begin viewing interactive holographic content, users open an app on their iPhone and slide the phone into the Prism headset. According to the company, the headset’s clear lenses enable users to remain present, as opposed to the more typical experience of isolation inherent in virtual reality.

Multiple headset users can share an experience together, and anyone with an iOS device can use the company’s Spectator Mode to join into the experience in real time. Such shared experiences can be recorded and shared via social media.

The company has partnered with immersive content studios to create an initial suite of interactive AR experiences, including solo challenges and multiplayer games such as holographic chess and digital warship battles. An included remote with a touchpad, trigger, and two buttons tracks acceleration and rotation, and can be used as a fishing rod, laser pointer, paintbrush, steering wheel, and magic wand.

“As developers, we wanted a way to build and experiment in AR without the need for expensive equipment, and as AR enthusiasts, we wanted the opportunity to play and explore without limits,” says Ben Taft, co-founder and CEO of Mira. “We challenged ourselves to build a mobile headset that would make AR accessible to anyone.”

Along with the announcement of the Prism headset, the company also announced $1.5 million in seed funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, Troy Capital Partners, S-Cubed Capital, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, global music artist and tech investor will.i.am, and Jaunt VR founder Jens Christensen. The funding will be used to help in manufacturing the Prism headset, as well as developing a software toolkit, and creating consumer facing content.

The Prism headset is available for pre-order at the company’s website for $99 and will ship to developers this fall. Consumer shipments are expected in time for the holidays.

Mira

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