Jonathan Nafarrete, writing about Mira’s just-launched Prism, a $99 Augmented Reality headset that works with iPhone:
The design of the headset is beautiful, something I would expect from a company like Apple when it comes to attention to detail. Prism’s clear lenses easily remove and reattach with the gratifying snap of a magnet hold. The cradle for the iPhone is just as simple, allowing for varying device sizes to fit with an expanding spandex fabric.
Judging only from the press photos in Nafarrete’s post, the headset is neither beautiful nor anything like an Apple product. It more resembles science lab safety glasses than something from Jony Ive’s lab.
This is a simple headset powered by one of the most popular devices, all for the price of $99. But there’s only one thing missing from this equation to make Prism a hit with mass consumers—content. Mira shared that they’ve partnered with select immersive content studios to create an initial suite of interactive AR experiences for developers to learn from and consumers to play, all included when the Prism headset ships. Experiences range from solo challenges to multiplayer games, including mind-bending mixed-reality puzzles, holographic chess and digital warship battles, which make gaming in AR as dynamic as it is social.
“Only one thing missing”: The most important thing of all. Content is still king.
Prism won’t be the only iPhone-compatible AR headset to pop up between now and (if) when Apple’s own glasses drop. It’ll be interesting to see how third-party hardware makers attempt to leverage ARKit-powered experiences made to be viewed on iPhone screens. And, also, if any hardware makers get enough stuff right to pique Apple’s interest on the acquihire front.
I can’t imagine Apple buying another company’s hardware design (let alone one this ugly). But Apple does have a history of acquiring smaller companies and integrating their tech into future products of their own. If Mira – or some other company – finds a great way to leverage ARKit for a headset experience, don’t be surprised to see it incorporated into Apple’s own AR glasses.
You know, if Apple’s actually making its own AR glasses.