by Larry Mortimer, AIA
A virtual reality headset called The VR One was recently announced by Carl Zeiss. The VR One is similar to other virtual reality headsets such as Samsung’s Gear VR and Oculus Rift, but it’s much more affordable.
What Does It Do: The VR One is a head-mounted viewer that displays content from your smartphone in a personal virtual reality (VR) like environment.
System Requirements: You will need a smartphone that fits in a tray specifically designed for the phone. Currently there are only two trays available (for the iPhone 6, and Samsung Galaxy S5), but I’m told trays for other smartphone models will be available soon.
How Does it Work: First, place your smartphone in a tray specifically designed for your phone, then slide it into a slot on the side of the VR One. The device then uses the smartphone screen plus Zeiss optics to provide an image to the viewer in a (VR) like environment.
Pros: It’s less expensive than other similar headsets. It has a clean design, and is compatible with both iOS & Android devices. It includes two apps (iOS or Android) to view movies, photos, Google Street View in 3D, or to “interact with Virtual Reality”, but whatever apps you already have on your phone will be viewable with VR One.
Cons: The VR One only works with smartphones between 4.7 and 5.2 inches, and will not work with larger phones such as the iPhone 6 Plus, Galaxy Note 4, or LG G3. The VR One will not be available until December, but is available for pre-order now.
Conclusion: I am interested to see the quality of the image, and how comfortable the device is to wear. How this device will eventually be used will depend on what apps 3rd party developers come up with. Right now virtual reality gamer players seem to be its target market, but with new architecture related apps, the VR One could become a useful tool for architects.
More Information at: http://zeissvrone.tumblr.com
Pre-order at: https://www.vrone.us/vrone/