Mira Prism (AR Headset - needs iPhone)

The virtual reality realm has Google Daydream and the Samsung Gear VR covering off the mid-tier for anyone looking for quality virtual reality content on a modest budget. When it comes to augmented reality experiences that go beyond the phone screen however, the AR headset market is a fair chunk pricier, with the $3,000 HoloLens setting the pace.

Enter the startup Mira, which aims to level the playing field with its Prism headset. Up for pre-order now at $99 (around £75 / AU$125), it’s a relatively low-tech wearable that uses your iPhone’s brains to power it.

Slide an iPhone into a slot on the top of the headset - and look a little ridiculous doing it - and it reflects what’s going on in the phone screen on a pair of transparent lenses that drop down in front of your eyes.

Shipping with a remote-like game controller, the Prism offers 360-degree gameplay, and a modicum of head tracking through the phone’s own camera.

Multiplayer action is also available – players can link up multiple headsets for synchronised play, while a tracking marker mat can be placed on a surface to allow those with mobile devices to interact with augmented reality items through their touchscreens alone.

With some big name investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and perennial tech celeb hanger-oner will.i.am (known as simply ‘William’ to his friends), it’s attracting quite a buzz ahead of release, despite its reasonably modest capabilities.

Still, it’s that happy middle ground between the high-end gear and accessible smartphone apps that augmented reality will need to really take off – and with Apple’s big ARKit push expected for the Fall, the timing couldn’t be better.