A new iPhone-compatible augmented reality headset has been announced today, called the Mira Prism, and it allows users to plug their iPhone 6, 6s, or 7 into a headset and interact with holographic images overlaid onto real-world objects.
The iPhone 7 sits facing away from the user when placed within the Mira Prism, and then a pair of mirrors reflects what's on the iPhone's screen and positions it on the front glass lenses, providing the augmented reality effect. The headset's app includes a collection of solo and collaborative AR experiences that are displayed above the included Mira launchpad, and any user without a headset can see what others are seeing in AR through the iPhone app's "Spectator Mode."
No plugs, computers, or wires needed. No matter where you are, simply open the Mira app on your smartphone, slide it into the Prism headset, and begin exploring the wonders of interactive holographic content.
The Mira Prism comes with a motion-based remote control for interacting with the various AR experiences provided by the headset, and the company said that more games and apps will becoming thanks to the Mira SDK. Engadget had a chance to check out the Mira Prism, and described a few of the games available on the AR headset:
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.
One Mira Prism device comes with the headset, remote, launchpad, carrying case, lens cover, and a pair of AAA batteries for the remote, as well as software including Mira's core apps and a premium game bundle. In terms of hardware specs, the headset has a 60-degree field of view and a total resolution of 1334 x 750.
Users interested can pre-order the Mira Prism for $99 beginning today, with an estimated shipping date of holiday 2017, afterwards the headset will cost $150 at retail. A developer edition is also available, and will ship sometime in the fall of 2017, slightly ahead of the consumer version.
Augmented reality has been an increasingly popular area for many companies over the past few years, gaining larger recognition with games like Pokémon Go, and this year preparing to expand to every iOS 11 device thanks to Apple's ARKit. Developers have already begun showing off how the camera on an iPhone can fuel impressive AR experiences, including basic everyday functions like overlaying a measuring tape onto an object, or displaying Minecraft in the real world.