Zappar showcase ZapBox Mixed Reality device at SXSW

Augmented reality (AR) provider Zappar will be showcasing its affordable AR/mixed reality (MR) solution, the ZapBox at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference this week.

The ZapBox consists of a headset similar to the Google Cardboard into which a smartphone with the ZapBox app is loaded, as well as handheld controllers and ‘pointcodes’ – position markers that help the device determine where you are in relation to your environment.

Furtniture in 3D

Zappar launched the ZapBox via a Kickstarter funding campaign in November 2016, asking for a modest $30,000 USD. By the time the campaign had ended, it had raised over $80,000. This enabled the team at Zappar to implement stretch goals such as 3D model visualisation and collaborative experiences.

Some of the Kickstarter’s backers have already received their development units, which come with a range of AR/MR experiences out of the box, including the ‘ZapBrush’ for 3D painting, a AR mini-golf game, a rhythm/pattern matching dance game, the ability to play a virtual xylophone and an app that allows the user to explore the solar system.

Ompi in dev mode

Kickstarter backers were able to get the basic set for just $25. Zappar say the commercial unit will cost only $30. As Caspar Thykier, Zappar CEO and co-founder explains: “Here at Zappar, our goal has always been to make AR, VR and now MR available to everyone. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure all elements of ZapBox, from app to cardboard components, are simple and affordable but most importantly deliver awe-inspiring experiences. This all started when we said to ourselves: ‘Could we make Magic Leap, Magic Cheap?’. ZapBox is our answer to that question.”

Zappar has recently announced a partnership with music recognition app Shazam, implementing Zappar’s AR technology into the Shazam app to form part of a new advertising and engagement campaign.

VRFocus will keep you informed on any updates regarding ZapBox and Zappar.