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Zeiss VR One hands on! Google Cardboard was never this cool

by Jacob Kleinman | January 7, 2016January 7, 2016 6:30 am EST

Google’s big virtual reality breakthrough wasn’t a fancy piece of technology or high-end sensors. Instead it was the simple idea that your smartphone could power the entire experience. Since then a number of companies have expanded on Google Cardboard with various different headsets, but the Zeiss VR One is my favorite by far.

Zeiss’s headset falls somewhere in between Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR. It’s powered by your smartphone but uses a special slide-in tray so you never have to readjust the device. The company already offers 10 different trays for different phones, which cost $10 each. The headset itself goes for $129.

The entire design is sleek on the outside and comfortable on the inside. The company also used a transparent plastic cover so your phone’s camera can capture the real world, opening the door for augmented reality experiences. Zeiss also says it’s the first VR headset to enable first person view from a drone, allowing you to see the world from high in the air and direct the action by simply moving your head around.

Zeiss VR One fills a nice spot in between cheaper options like Google Cardboard and high-end headsets like the Oculus Rift. It’s not as powerful as the slightly less expensive Gear VR, but it already offers support for way more smartphones with even more options on the way.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...