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This $99 AR Headset Is A Game Changer

You can pre-order the Prism headset today.

Fresh out of stealth-mode, Mira is looking to bring augmented reality (AR) to the masses. Dubbed Prism, this untethered AR headset is powered by an iPhone and comes in at an accessible price of $99.

In comparison to other higher-end mixed reality headsets like Meta and Magic Leap that will likely require powerful PCs, Mira’s Prism lets you just snap in your iPhone and begin interacting with holographic content.

I was able to get a hands-on demo earlier this month of Prism and was immediately impressed by the clean minimalist form factor. Created to work with existing iPhones, I simply opened up a demo app and slide the phone into the headset. The headset is accompanied with a remote (almost identical to Google Daydream’s remote), allowing me to fly a holographic spaceship around the office.

The remote tracks acceleration and rotation, enhancing AR experiences with a touchpad, trigger, and two buttons, allowing you to use the remote for things like a fishing rod, laser pointer, paintbrush, steering wheel, or even a magic wand.

The design of the headset is beautiful, something I would expect from a company like Apple when it comes to attention to detail. Prism’s clear lenses easily remove and reattach with the gratifying snap of a magnet hold. The cradle for the iPhone is just as simple, allowing for varying device sizes to fit with an expanding spandex fabric.

Considering Prism is only powered by an iPhone screen, the graphic fidelity and design of the headset beat my expectations—and all this for $99.

What I didn’t get to demo was Mira’s shared experience and Spectator Mode. If you and your friend both have a Prism headset, you can share an experience together. And even better, anyone with an iOS device (iPad or iPhone) can use Mira’s Spectator Mode to join into the experience in real time, enabling collaborative exploration in augmented reality. Through Spectator Mode, you can also record video or capture photos of your friends’ experience and easily share via social media.

This is a simple headset powered by one of the most popular devices, all for the price of $99. But there’s only one thing missing from this equation to make Prism a hit with mass consumers—content. Mira shared that they’ve partnered with select immersive content studios to create an initial suite of interactive AR experiences for developers to learn from and consumers to play, all included when the Prism headset ships. Experiences range from solo challenges to multiplayer games, including mind-bending mixed-reality puzzles, holographic chess and digital warship battles, which make gaming in AR as dynamic as it is social.

If you’re like me and immediately wondered how ARKit could take this entire platform to the next level, it’s not lost on the Mira team. The company is already looking at ways to make use of the iPhone’s front facing camera to utilize ARKit for even more intearactive mixed reality experiences.

While we can’t wait to see what content the company has in the works, with investors like will.i.am and an already killer platform to build on top of, this may be just what we’ve all been looking for to make AR accessible to anyone.

Mira’s Prism headset is available for pre-order now for $99 and will ship to developers this Fall, with consumer shipments coming in time for the Holidays.

Mira is backed ($1.5 million) by seed investors Sequoia Capital, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, will.i.am, Troy Capital Partners, S-Cubed Capital, and Jaunt VR founder Jens Christensen.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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