Experience virtual reality any time, any place – in December 2014, at a price of 99 dollars, ZEISS is launching a mobile Virtual Reality (VR) headset – the ZEISS VR ONE – that works with smartphones featuring display sizes of between 4.7 and 5.2 inches. The attention of the young development team was sharply focused on user-friendliness, design and technology. To dive into virtual worlds, all the user needs to do is select an appropriate VR app and slide his or her smartphone into the headset using the tray provided. ZEISS VR ONE will initially be available worldwide with a tray for the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone and the iPhone 6. Other models are in the pipeline.
The Computer Aided Design data for the rapid prototyping of the trays with the aid of 3D printing will be published for other smartphones in the near future. "Particularly as far as system openness and the price are concerned, the headset constitutes a smart solution. Our young team is gathering the feedback on its development potential from the VR community for further improvements," says Dr. Markus Weber, Head of Corporate Research and Technology at ZEISS. The transparent visor on the front allows the use of augmented reality apps with the smartphone camera. Eyeglass wearers can also use ZEISS VR ONE without difficulty as the "eyebox" is large enough for most eyeglass frames, therefore eliminating the need for complicated adjustments on the integrated ZEISS lenses.
Two ZEISS VR ONE apps open up new possibilities
Besides the existing offering, two apps developed by ZEISS itself will be available for the product launch: with the ZEISS VR ONE Media Launcher App users can select compatible VR apps and install them on their smartphone. The ZEISS VR ONE Cinema App is a virtual movie theater in which 3D films can be viewed – regardless of whether it is at home on the sofa or during a train journey. Both apps are currently in the inspection process of the app stores and should be available from the end of this week.
Project Manager Andreas Klavehn comments: "ZEISS VR ONE is certainly not a core product of the ZEISS Group. However, it is fun and it represents our contribution to the usefulness of Virtual Reality apps. Including the free Software Development Kit (SDK), a freely available operating concept and solution for accelerated head tracking, ZEISS VR ONE offers a broad foundation for future apps."
This potential will now be developed together with the global VR community in an open contest: from now until 16 February 2015, innovative ideas and visions as well as finished apps can be submitted via an online contest platform. No limits are set to the imaginative, creative and innovative skills of the community. A jury of international experts will then select one winner each in the two categories "Ideation" and "Apps."