Meet Mira, the cardboard of AR.
Why is Mira so important? Price, which also happens to be why most people don’t get any VR/AR peripherals. In my honest opinion, I think the technology and immersion of both VR and AR already exists, but no one wants to spend $3000 for a Hololens, $800 for a Vive, and now, $400 for the Rift. It is a HUGE price tag for anyone, even for us.
Enter Mira, at $99, a new augmented reality company that produces affordable head sets with no electronics in them. Much like the Samsung Gear, it serves as a shell for your iPhone. All you have to do is download the app, and you can enjoy some quality AR content. The two big mirrors serve as a reflective visor, it reflects what your Mira app will play while you are able to see through.
The design of this headset feels like a toy and I think that is a good thing. AR is seen as a premium product to most consumers, so a lot of people wouldn't even dare venture out into this new technology. But with Mira, people can enjoy playful and fun AR experiences between friends.
The headset itself also comes with a controller that allows for tracking and gesture movements, adding a lot of extra actions of clicking, a pointer, a brush, a fishing rod or a wand. And the limitation of the headset really gives it an edge because it forces content to be simple and fun. For example, our friends at Funktronic Labs made an AR mini-game on their app. The design and gameplay, judging from their site, looks super playful and light.
I feel like this was a missing piece in AR/VR. Every game that came out felt so heavy and trying to aim for the stars. I think that this is fantastic, but where are the Solitaires, Pongs, or Minesweepers of VR/AR? There is a part of me that wishes game developers, brands and content creators would go back to the basics of making games that are simpler, easier to digest, and can be played longer. I definitely feel like Mira is taking the right step to bring AR to mass consumers in a fun and social way.