Can't Afford Hololens? ZapBox is a Super-Cheap Alternative

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

With the Development Edition available for a whopping £2,719 and Microsoft still a long way from a commercial rollout, Hololens is but a distant dream for most of us. The $30 (£24) ZapBox, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be.

Described as “an affordable way to experience mixed reality and room-scale virtual reality”, it’s just launched on Kickstarter and really really wants your money.

ZapBox is a cardboard headset -- that you pop your phone into -- which works with an app, a couple of handheld controllers and a set of 'pointcodes' that mark out an area and establish where you are.

The app is available on smartphones running Android 4.1 and above and the iPhone 6 and above (excluding the SE), and slaps virtual stuff on top of the live footage captured by your camera, causing you to go ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ because a mini-golf hole has appeared on your bed, and your brother’s face is now a xylophone. Zappar says you can also paint in 3D space, send a virtual probe to virtual Mars and… dance.

As tends to be the case with these things, the video explains it better.

Backers of the project can also gain access to the ZapBox SDK ZapWorks, so you can fail at being a developer.