Zeiss has launched its VR One virtual reality headset today. On the surface the headset looks comparable to the recently made available Samsung Gear VR but it isn't restricted to being compatible with a single handset. Zeiss boasts that the VR One initially supports both the Samsung Galaxy S5, an Android smartphone and the Apple iPhone 6, which runs iOS. Support for more models is "in the pipeline," we are told.
The focus behind the Zeiss VR One is said to be upon user friendliness in implementing the 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," claims the Zeiss press release. The Zeiss VR One is designed with eyeglass wearers in mind and therefore eliminates the need for major integrated lens adjustments to correct user vision.
Zeiss has developed a couple of new VR apps to accompany this headset's launch. First, and most importantly, the Media Launcher App allows the installation of compatible VR apps on a user's smartphone. Secondly Zeiss has produced a standalone Cinema App for the viewing of 3D films. These apps aren't live in Android/iOS app store immediately as they are still in the approval process, app availability ETA is the end of this week.
As readers might have concluded for themselves, the Zeiss VR One is appealing due to its open, flexible nature. This is enhanced by the provision of a free Software Development Kit (SDK) and native accelerated head tracking solution. Additionally, the CAD data allowing users to rapidly prototype trays compatible with their particular smartphones on 3D printers will be available "in the near future". Smartphone sizes must be between 4.7 and 5.2-inches.
Zeiss says that the new VR One headset is available immediately, priced at US$99.