This affordable mixed reality system takes the guesswork out of buying an XR device » Gadget Flow


It’s a great time to get into the world of MR. Especially since it’s more affordable than ever thanks to the All-new ZapBox. This gamer’s gadget works with your smartphone to provide a truly immersive experience. Check out this blog post to learn more about the MR system that gives you access to this exciting world for a price that will make you smile.

Are you curious about trying Mixed Reality but can’t justify the expense? Now you can lose yourself in the world of XR for the price of a couple of new sweaters with the All-new ZapBox. The creators of this affordable Mixed Reality system aim to bring mixed reality to the mass market in a truly immersive design for 6-DoF Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences.

Out of the box, this MR setup comes with a pretty cool headset for your smartphone, two fully tracked controllers, and a Unity plugin. The headset features transparent material that look quite sleek and modern. It also delivers a peripheral view of the real world that naturally blends with the immersive content you see in 3D. The controllers give you physical and intuitive interaction, and an ultra-wide camera adapter provides even more immersive MR experiences.

How does this inexpensive MR system work?

That’s a good question and one that necessitates a thoughtful answer. According to the company’s Kickstarter page, the All-new ZapBox takes a new approach to visual tracking with both the controllers and world anchors to offer users better performance and tracking quality than the original ZapBox. Patent-pending D3 (dot-dot-dash) markers on the controllers and world anchors allow for more efficient algorithms for detection and tracking. This gives users smoother performance and means that more of your device’s processing power can be spent delivering great content. Meanwhile, the world-tracking uses world anchors, motion sensors in your phone, and visual features from your environment for a truly unforgettable experience.

What does this innovative MR headset include?

The most impressive piece of this affordable mixed reality system is its headset. Patent-pending, the All-new ZapBox headset is light, comfortable, and easy to adjust, making it ideal for hours of play. It also gives players as much peripheral vision as possible. This is great for Mixed Reality but also works wonderfully for VR with friends since it can make the experience more social. You and your friends won’t feel like you’re in separate worlds, making it a great gaming gadget.

All-new ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution on a table

How do the lenses blend content with the real world?

The lenses are another cool feature. They’re frameless, allowing your side vision to blend almost seamlessly into your content without making the edge of your phone visible. It’s an experience you’ll have to see to believe, and that’s one reason why we find this affordable mixed reality setup to be one of the coolest gaming gadgets we’ve seen this year.

ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution

All-new ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution headset on a gray background

How do the controllers and camera adaptor work?

This affordable mixed reality system includes some pretty innovative controllers. Their futuristic design gives users precise control without getting in the way. They’re wireless and have an analog trigger for natural interactions. The ultra-wide camera adaptor gives you an MR experience that’s more immersive and improves the controller tracking range. It’s definitely one of those gadgets every gamer needs to see.

ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution

All-new ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution on a white background

Will this XR device keep phones secure?

You won’t have to worry about accidentally dropping your phone while you play on the All-new ZapBox. Live-hinged phone grips keep your phone secure and centrally held in place for the best visual experience. They also support a range of device makes, sizes, and models. Best of all, it’s easy to fit your smartphone into the grips. Furthermore, they even work if you wear glasses.

ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution

All-new ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution entire set

Is there developer support?

The company wants to give more developers opportunities to build content for ZapBox. So with Unity’s new XR plugin framework, ZapBox will have support for the developer community for the first time. Developers can build native apps for this product that can be published directly to the iOS and Android app stores.

ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution

All-new ZapBox Mixed Reality Solution in use

What content can you access?

This affordable mixed reality system gives you access to all existing ZapBox Mixed Reality content. The company is also working to bring new content to ZapBox. Current projects include a “ZapBrush” app for painting in MR and VR and a streamlined way to view 3D models. So this MR system could also be a useful tool for companies. Finally, you can also use the All-new ZapBox for a good selection of content and apps designed for Google Cardboard in the app stores.

What smartphones can you use with this MR gadget?

Operation is simple for iOS users with iPhone 6 and higher. For Android users, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and later S-series and the Google Pixel 2, 3, and 4 work best. According to the company’s Kickstarter page, other Android devices should also work well, but they haven’t been able to verify and authorize all of them. For the best results, it’s recommended to have a high-performance phone with a gyroscope sensor and a 60FPS camera mode with manual exposure control. And in terms of size, devices between 135mm and 160mm in height when held in portrait are ideal.

This affordable mixed reality system is the tech we needed to make XR experience more accessible for everyday users. For just $40, the cost of a decent pair of jeans, you can take part in a world that’s far different from what you experience every day. And if you’re a developer, the support is robust. You’ll also be able to make your app available in iOS and Android App stores easily. What’s more, with the holidays right around the corner, the All-new ZapBox makes a cool, sensible gift for the gamer in your life.

The All-new ZapBox costs $40, and you can preorder it on Kickstarter.

Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters.

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