The Mira Prism doesn’t contain any electronics. It’s a shell like Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Daydream View, but for augmented reality. To use it, you open a Mira-enabled app on your iPhone, then slide it into the Prism. The screen faces away from you and toward a transparent visor, which reflects the image back to your vision. Objects appear to float in front of you, rendered in stereoscopic 3D. The experience is very different from ‘mixed reality’ that pipes a camera feed into a VR headset because you’re seeing the real world at full resolution through your own eyes.
It has a large field of view because of those giant lenses. The headset works comfortably on top of glasses which is a boon to people wearing spectacles. At $99 it is really cheap when compared to other AR devices on the market.
Mira co-founder Matt Stern says the company is still figuring out how much it can do with apples ARKit, but the best-case scenario is that Mira’s software could turn most ARKit apps into actual projected overlays. Even if that doesn’t happen, ARKit could make the printed marker unnecessary, and if people are already used to playing around with AR on their phones, they could be more interested in taking a jump into headsets as well.