The ongoing race for affordable mixed reality just got a little faster—Zappar is making sure of it.
This week the English creative studio pioneering its own mixed reality platform for mobile and web apps, Zappar, announced its plans for the brand new, aptly named, $40 USD, ZapBox. This all-in-one 6DoF halo of a headset designed for mobile XR viewing has an associated Kickstarter campaign which launched a few days ago and has already met 30% of its $65,000 goal by Friday afternoon.
With an unrivalled price point, the ZapBox kit includes controllers, two phone camera adaptors, world anchors, a content library of both pre-released and original experiences, and a Unity plugin for developers. Device support for the all-new ZapBox will include all iPhones from the iPhone 6S and newer and also recent Samsung S-series and Google Pixel smartphones.
“All-new ZapBox takes everything we’ve learnt over the last five years to create the ultimate way for people to experience and build compelling interactive MR and VR content, and offers unbeatable value at just $40,” said Caspar Thykier, Co-Founder and CEO at Zappar. “As a business we’ve always focused on democratising XR for the mass market and all-new ZapBox is more evidence of our commitment to deliver against that promise.”
This bold product release is not a first attempt at accessibility for Zappar, a company that has prioritized various strategies and services for making XR more approachable for consumers and brands alike. The studio also offers ZapWorks, an AR toolkit designed for creativity and storytelling for users trying to build web-based and native AR content. ZapBox users can leverage ZapWorks to generate content and then instantly view through the ZapBox app.
“We wanted developers to be able to explore the possibilities of immersive 6DoF MR and VR experiences, without the high cost of entry for dedicated hardware,” said Simon Taylor, Co-Founder and Chief R&D Officer at Zappar. “All-new ZapBox offers a great balance between affordability and capability that lets Unity and ZapWorks users create the impactful experiences they want.”
Inspired by Google’s cardboard headset, ZapBox was conceived in 2014 as a way to meet consumers where they were at. While other state-of-the-art XR HMDs are on the market, few can compare to this financially accessible option as Zappar gambles for market adoption of XR without monetary burden toward potential consumers.
Image Credit: Zappar