$99 iPhone-powered Augmented Reality headset is Microsoft’s biggest nightmare

Apple’s ARKit has many very excited, but as long as you have to hold your iPhone or iPad in front of your eyes with your hands it will always be a gimmicky solution.

Startup Mira, however, appears to have solved that issue rather cheaply with their iPhone-powered Prism headset, which uses half-silvered mirror glasses and a simple $99 holder for your iPhone 7  to make the magic happen.

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Tested by Engadget, the headset is said to be surprisingly comfortable, due to good padding, and works better than expected in tracking movement and keeping virtual objects stable. The visor is magnetically attached and easily removable, making for easy transport, and the company is also producing a handheld motion controller for easy interaction with virtual objects.

The headset comes with a small amount of software, including a maze and asteroid game, and the headset comes with an SDK for developers for single and multi-player gaming. The initial release of the headset is to developers and the company is partnering with studios for more experiences, for the eventual release to consumers for the holiday season.

It is, of course, unlikely that Mira will be leading the AR revolution, but we have already seen the kind of traction Apple has received for their relatively basic solution. Boosting ARKit will a relatively simple, cheap and convenient accessory would likely leave the rest of the market left so far behind they will never be able to catch up, shattering Microsoft’s dream of leading the post-smartphone revolution.

Read more about the Mira Prism here.

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