ZapBox gives you room-scale mixed reality for just $30

Mixed reality mini golf is our new favourite sport
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Can't afford the $3,000 Microsoft's HoloLens Development Edition? How about $30? That's the asking price for ZapBox, a mixed reality headset that's essentially the Google Cardboard of the medium.

ZapBox has just gone live on Kickstarter, described as "an affordable way to experience mixed reality and room-scale virtual reality using the power of your smartphone".

It uses the phone camera passthrough to display virtual objects on top of the real world, but even more impressive is that it uses a pair of handheld controllers that let you interactive with these virtual apparitions.

Both the headset and controllers are made from cardboard, which is why the price is so low; all of the processing is done by the smartphone you slot into the headset. But ZapBox goes a step further than other smartphone headsets by using markers called Pointcodes, which attach to walls and offer a room-scale experience like HTC's Vive.

ZapBox gives you room-scale mixed reality for just $30

The ZapBox will also come with a handful of "experiences" to play with. One will let you paint in 3D space like Google's Tilt Brush, another will overlay a mini-golf course onto a surface. There's also a dancing mini-game described as "Wii Fit meets brain training".

Read next: Mixed reality - the next big thing

We've been talking a lot about mixed reality recently - in the last week alone we've reported on two different stories about Apple's plans to move into the AR space. ZapBox's proposition is interesting: this is more than another me-too budget headset.

Estimated delivery for ZapBox is March 2017, and you can even knock $5 off the price by backing the campaign early.

ZapBox gives you room-scale mixed reality for just $30


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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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