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MIRA, MIRA

USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation is welcoming the creation of its first start-up, an augmented reality firm called Mira.

Yesterday, the three students behind Mira—Ben Taft, Matt Stern and Montana Reed, who still have two semesters left before graduation—announced their first product, Prism, which resembles a high-tech visor with a screen that spans forehead to nose. Prism essentially places all the applications of a smartphone right in front of the user's face, giving said apps the appearance that they are 3D and floating, and it let's people play augmented reality games and watch different forms of entertainment.



How does this differ from other VR equipment? Its visuals are not all-encompassing, which eliminates that awkward feeling of being sent to another dimension. With Prism, wearers can still see where they're standing or sitting and, perhaps more importantly, who they are standing or sitting with, promoting an interactivity and social quality that is lost with most VR products.

And, oh yeah, it's just $99.

“We’re still constrained to a 2-D world as big as our screens,” shared Stern, who serves as the start-up's COO. “The ultimate dream is to create a ubiquitous universe, so you don’t have to be limited by the physical constraints of devices.”

Silicon Valley firm Sequoia Capital, Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, recording artist will.i.am and Troy Capital Partners are reported to be among the investors who collectively put $1.5m into Mira. And according to Mira Chief Executive Taft, Iovine and Dr. Dre do not have stakes in the new company.

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