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Zeiss VR One Now Available, Development Contest Launched

Back on October 2014 it was revealed that Carl Zeiss was developing its very own virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) in VR One, a smartphone-based device. At the time the company launched a pre-order campaign for the kit, offering it at $99 USD with shipping expected to begin by the end of the year. This month sees Carl Zeiss live up to those expectations, as shipping for the VR One has started in all regions.

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The VR One supports multiple smartphones between 4.7 and 5.2 inches in size, though will be shipping with a tray designed for use with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6. Other trays will soon be made available as will their data requirements for 3D printing. A clear visor at the front of the device will also allow the use of a given phone’s camera, enabling some augmented reality (VR) experiences along with VR ones. The kit also features a large eyebox to accommodate the vast range of glasses.

“Particularly as far as system openness and the price are concerned, the headset constitutes a smart solution,” Project Manager Andreas Klavehn said of the device’s launch. “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”.

To celebrate the launch, Carl Zeiss is launching a new competition to bolster the content for VR One. Entrants are asked to submit ideas or entire apps for use with the device. The winner of the ideas category will get a VR One and an iPhone 6 while the best full app submission will see their app launched with marketing from the company itself.

VR One is also supported by its own media app to view pictures and videos. VRFocus will continue to follow the device, reporting back with any further updates on it.