THROUGH AN AR GLASS

We love to escape. Whether it is from our mundane daily jobs, our family responsibilities, the daily chores or even our work out sessions. It’s no wonder then that the latest episode of Prison Break has shattered past records. Escapism refers to the mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation. For a generation that is poised to entertain itself to death, here is a new device which is targeting the market of Augmented Reality.

In AR, technology the details about the surrounding real world becomes interactive and can be digitally manipulated. Augmented Reality also brings out the components of the digital world into the user’s real world.

Augmented Reality headsets have their fair share of detractors who believe that it’s outright costly, looks weird especially when you try it on and whose utility is rather limited. Mira Prism is promising to cover up these shortfalls and its Augmented Reality headset is priced at $99 for starters. It does not contain any electronics and has a large optical visor that gets converted into a screen once you slide the Mira-operated iPhone into the Prism. The iPhone screen is part of the display. The Objects will appear to float in front of your eyes, in a 3D format.

Tech giants like Apple and Google have set their sights in the Augmented Reality sector as many believe that competent state of the art AR glasses could replace all other screens in the future. Apple’s iPhone Augmented Reality apps started off really successfully last year. The apps use the iPhone’s camera to feed characters into the user’s real world. Apple’s Augmented Reality program ARKit has already made many insights and this could improve users’ Prism experience.

The market of AR headsets has seen competition between $3000 Microsoft Hololens, $600 Oculus Rift and $799 HTC Vive.  However, Mira Prism could offer users AR services for a much more manageable price. The founders of Mira Ben Taft, Matt Stern and Montana Reed were looking for funding on their prototype which would boost the AR industry. They succeeded in landing a $1.5. Million funding led by Sequoia Capital and Salesforce. And now they have created an accessible AR headset which provides clear and sharp images on the real world.

One of Mira Prism’s innovative features is called the Spectator Mode which allows other people to see what the user is seeing through the headset. It has a feature that allows users to record video or share photos of experiences online. One of the biggest goals is to enable a multiplayer function where several different players could play the same game with the same AR experience.  Even though the majority of the content of Prism is still in build mode, the founders hope that there would be other challenging games, entertainment apps and features that accentuate work capabilities by the time of its planned consumer launch in December.

Mira Prism has shown that AR headsets can be built cheaply. Their biggest concern would be Apple’s own AR program which could build software that would not require glasses for AR experience. Mira’s founders meanwhile have promised to focus on both software and hardware . The glasses could give users another escape into entertainment, albeit with the real world intact.

Jon Buck
Jon Buck
Jon Buck is based in Delhi, India. He enjoys researching, analyzing, and commenting on the cutting edge of the technology world, as well as palak paneer with veg fried rice.

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