Mira Prism, now available for pre-order, is an AR headset developed by Los Angeles based startup Mira which uses the iPhone to render AR games and experiences. In the Mira Prism, AR graphics are rendered and then mirrored onto the headset’s visor while limited positional tracking is handled by the phone’s front camera.
The headset comes with a separate wireless controller to play games and navigate through the experience of AR. Mira has tied up with Unity video game development tools for users to build games for its headset and also introduced a multi-player mode for iOS users even if they don’t have a Mira Prism. A spectator mode allows users with a Mira Prism to join in the action without participating. Spectators can observe the AR projections of someone else using the headset.
One of the disadvantages of the Mira Prism is that it depends on the phone’s display for AR projections, making it difficult to operate in areas with high sunlight. Also Apple’s own ARkit launched with latest beta version of iOS 11 is incompatible with the headset. The bulky headset is now up for pre-order. The first units will be shipped to developers. Post that consumer sales will begin in the holiday season.
AR: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality, is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Augmented reality enhances one’s current perception of reality. In contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.
Looks like gaming on iPhones is going to get a lot more often. Perhaps this is the right time to wait for the iPhone 8?