iPhone will power spectacular $99 AR headset

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Mira
2017 is set to be the year of augmented reality.
Photo: Mira

Apple’s own AR headset may still be a rumor, but if you want to get hold of an iPhone-friendly augmented reality headset you’ll be able to do it later this year — for just $99!

Made by Los Angeles startup Mira, the Prism resembles a slimmed-down version of the $950 Meta 2 AR headset. The new device boasts a small, motion-sensing controller with a Gear VR-style trigger. Check out the teaser trailer below.

“All you need is your smartphone,” Mira’s website explains. “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.”

In a way, the Mira Prism is similar to previous handset holder VR concepts like Google Cardboard. But while Google Cardboard makes you slide in your handset so it faces your eyes, the Mira Prism faces the other way, reflecting back at you via a set of mirrors and a lens. That means you’re actually looking at the real world, rather than a video version of it.

A Spectator mode lets you convey your AR experience to a separate iPhone or iPad for others to enjoy.

Mira Prism AR headset: Early reports are good

While we haven’t yet had the chance to check out the Mira Prism, early user reports seem generally positive. The fact that it costs under $100 is also a major selling point.

You can currently preorder the headset over on Mira’s website. One downside is that it’s designed for the iPhone 7, which will soon enough be replaced by Apple’s eagerly anticipated iPhone 8. Should all go well, however, we see no reason why Mira wouldn’t upgrade the headset.

After all, without any electronics in it, it’s only a matter of redesigning the outer shell.