Bluetooth's next act is all about creating supernetworks of smart devices. You know Bluetooth as the wireless tech that connects headphones, keyboards, fitness trackers, car stereos and game controllers over short distances -- often, no more than 33 feet away. So what if I told you that up to 32,000 Bluetooth devices will soon be able spread out across an entire building, or even a neighborhood, to form a single wireless network? That's what the consortium behind Bluetooth formally announced Tuesday.
It looks like a fancy giant sun visor or a futuristic welder's mask, and it easily fits over my head, Holding a little remote, I can point at floating cartoon planets hovering near my desk, Trying to make holographic things dance in front of your face usually requires a pair of high-end smartglasses, or a headset like the Microsoft HoloLens, In my time with the Prism, it wasn't case mate iphone c as amazing as the HoloLens, or the demos that are already being pulled off with Apple's upcoming ARKit, Apple's toolset for making surprisingly good augmented reality on iPhone screens, But as a cheap accessory to make augmented reality available for a lot of people? It works, It's a little like Google Cardboard for augmented reality., at a higher price..
The Los Angeles-based company, Mira, is founded by Ben Taft, Matt Stern and Montana Reed. All three are former students of USC's Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Mira already has funding from Will.i.am and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, among others. The Prism uses an iPhone (sorry, no Android version for now), which pops into the headband using elastic, snapping into place. A large mirrored visor reflects the phone's stereoscopic images, turning them into floating three-dimensional, but virtual, objects. I got a demonstration at CNET's offices, and the 3D images felt convincing enough. Polygonal planets spread around me and I controlled a rocket ship using a long elastic tether that I extended and retracted using a handheld wand-remote. I made the ship take off and land on the table, with the help of an included round cardboard marker.
Mira's augmented reality can be multiplayer, or viewed on a phone screen at the same time, Mira has plans for games and entertainment apps, plus a partnership with some sort of entertainment property, Disney's already making its own AR/mixed reality headset with Lenovo, The Mira Prism could be a case mate iphone c way to make more affordable accessories for AR kits and games, In fact, the multiplayer part is Mira's biggest aspiration, Several people could play with the same AR experience, or someone could watch and snap shots of it all on another phone running the Mira app..
The headset will be on sale "in time for the holidays" and comes out for developers this fall, but so do Apple's augmented reality platform, ARKit, and the new iPhone. ARKit is already enabling some shockingly impressive tech demos and requires no headset at all. According to Mira's founders, that's fine: The goal for the Prism is to have apps take advantage of ARKit to make its future apps look even better. A software development kit (SDK) and Unity compatibility will make apps easier to make. But that's also assuming that developers are interested in making apps that work with the Prism, which uses its own wireless remote that feels like a cross between Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR's tiny plastic wands.