Mira’s augmented reality headset, The Prism, will be sold for $99. Although this can be pricey for some, it is much cheaper than many of the other augmented and virtual reality devices that are currently on the market. The reason behind the low cost can be attributed to how the Prism is made and how it functions. Similar to Samsung’s Gear VR, the Prism works in tandem with an iPhone as the source of the virtual images and objects. The Prism does not house any advanced computer or camera tech and is a hollow shell that solely relies on the iPhone for the pictures. Unlike the Gear VR, the iPhone is positioned away from the face, and the images reflect off of the stereoscopic lenses. After the user opens the Prism application on their iPhone, the images are reflected off the stereoscopic lenses, and appear as 3D images. The objects and images can interact with the user of the hand held controller that comes along with the device. Also, the Prism hosts some innate holographic games and activities, such as chess and a game where one controls a rocket ship. The Prism also allows for multiplayer interaction with other Prism owners. If others just want to watch the activity another is partaking in there is also a Spectator Mode that allows others to view the activity with their Prism.
While there is not an official release date for the Prism, Mira is beginning talks with developers soon, and are planning for the release of the Prism for fall 2017. Further announcements regarding these partnerships will occur at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Even though the Prism already includes original holographic content, Mira hopes that developers will create apps for the device to further enhance its value. There are similar concerns with other augmented reality devices, as there are not many already existing, big name content for these smartphone based AR devices.
While a lack of content is an important concern to be had, there is also the worry about the Prism’s competitors. Some have expressed concern regarding the significance of augmented reality devices in a market that is dominated by virtual reality devices. Virtual Reality devices rely on being plugged into a computer or game system, and are the more expensive products. Augmented reality utilizes other sources, such as smartphones. However, this is also its strength, as AR devices are more portable than VR devices. Even though it lacks a sizable list of games and activities, at the moment, there will hopefully be more options once the Prism is released. If your looking for a less expensive alternative for AR devices, than the Prism may be right up your alley.