Matt Stern (Mira) on Affordable, Hands-free AR for Everyone and Truly Immersive VR
Matt is the co-founder and COO of Mira, the mobile augmented reality company that makes premium AR experiences available to anyone. Matt started Mira while still an undergraduate at the University of Southern California with three classmates. While he’s still early in his career, Mira isn’t his first foray into immersive technology. He spent years working in VR as a Project Manager for Sony Pictures VR and CreateVR, where he helped build one of the first experiences for PlayStation VR, ‘The Walk VR.’
Matt is part of the inaugural class of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, a highly-selective program for entrepreneurship where he focuses on Mixed Reality innovation.
Matt and I talk about creating truly immersive VR experiences, which culminates with an exploration of the thinking and experimentation that went into The Walk VR.
Regarding AR, Matt shares his perspective on the the problem with Hololens and his goal of making hands-free AR accessible to everyone. Mira is consciously trading away higher brightness and pixel density for a device that costs substantially less and provides a high field of view. I think of the Mira Prism as the Smartglasses version of Google Cardboard or Google Daydream.
Matt describes creating hardware prototypes on the cheap with half-dome-shaped fish bowls and hot glue guns, which he and his co-founders used as the basis for raising money from Sequoia Capital, Troy Capital, Marc Benioff, and other angel investors. He shares what he thinks is missing in AR, and why the AR experience you get when holding your phone out in front of you isn’t going to motivate people to buy smartglasses.
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