Published on October 8th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
All-new ZapBox: Awesome Mixed Reality for $40
Remember Google Daydream and Cardboard? The form factor required a smartphone be inserted into your field of view to create VR experiences. The innovative folks at Zappar are using the same approach as shown in this Kickstarter project called the ZapBox. Except their device provides a mixed reality (XR?) experience that includes both VR and AR. It will be interesting to see where this goes as most other VR creators are developing devices that have the processing power onboard with no smartphone needed on the unit (although it may need to be close by). I am also wary of the UX of the ZapBox as one of the main complaints of VR users is the weight of the device and many smartphones are very heavy as they are designed to be held in your hand and not attached to your face. Welcome to the MR/XR/VR/AR wars, ZapBox!
Photo courtesy Zappar
All-new ZapBox is a revolutionary step in Zappar’s mission to bring affordable Mixed Reality to the mass market. ZapBox enables content creators and developers to build truly immersive, 6-DoF Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences at an unrivalled price point of just $40.
ZapBox has been completely re-imagined and re-designed from the previous exploratory cardboard iterations of the product to offer a greatly improved experience and a form factor suitable for the mass market whilst maintaining an unprecedented price point.
All-new ZapBox includes a radical new headset designed from the ground up to deliver immersive MR and VR experiences using existing smartphones. The headset offers an almost uninterrupted peripheral view of the real world that naturally blends into the immersive content displayed in front of the user in 3D. The video-see through setup for MR allows for fully opaque content and true blacks, whilst the direct peripheral vision keeps users feeling well-connected to the real world. A pair of 6-DoF controllers are also included to provide physical and intuitive interactions, along with an ultra-wide camera adapter which delivers more immersive MR experiences and improves the range of controller tracking.
A Unity plugin will enable developers to build native iOS or Android apps with their own ZapBox content. Content can also be created with Zappar’s dedicated ZapWorks Studio tool and viewed instantly in the ZapBox app.
The patent-pending open headset is light, comfortable and easily adjustable, and maintains as much peripheral vision as possible. The new headset is perfect for Mixed Reality experiences but also transforms VR with friends into a more social experience. You won’t feel cut off from the world, but part of it.