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Interactive virtual content in the physical world: play mini-golf, visit Mars, or paint in 3D. Then create and share your own content.
Interactive virtual content in the physical world: play mini-golf, visit Mars, or paint in 3D. Then create and share your own content.
Interactive virtual content in the physical world: play mini-golf, visit Mars, or paint in 3D. Then create and share your own content.
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1,854 backers pledged $84,356 to help bring this project to life.

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ZapBox: "Mixed Reality" for $30 project video thumbnail
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ZapBox: "Mixed Reality" for $30

$84,356

1,854

 

 

 

What people are saying about ZapBox

What is ZapBox?

ZapBox is an affordable way to experience Mixed Reality and Room-Scale Virtual Reality using the power of your smartphone.

ZapBox combines physical components with advanced software to provide magical Mixed Reality experiences. Insert your smartphone into the ZapBox headset, start the ZapBox app, and step into a whole new world of interactive content.

The ZapBox app displays the live feed from your smartphone’s camera so you can see what’s around you in the room. The magic part is that it can also display virtual objects that appear anchored to the real world, so you can change your viewpoint by simply moving around.

That’s pretty awesome already, but that’s not all. ZapBox also works out the 3D position and orientation of the included pair of handheld controllers to offer natural interaction with content simply by reaching out and touching it.

Mind. Blown.
Mind. Blown.

This combination of a view of the real world combined with virtual objects that appear to be anchored in 3D space is known as Mixed Reality. For just $30 including shipping ZapBox unlocks this entirely new medium by making it accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for all. Huzzah!

This is the most accurate and scientific explanation of what ZapBox does.
This is the most accurate and scientific explanation of what ZapBox does.

You may have heard about Mixed Reality (MR) before, perhaps from Magic Leap or Microsoft HoloLens, but the technology is not currently very widely accessible - a HoloLens Developer Edition is now available but will set you back $3,000.

We set ourselves the challenge of creating a much more affordable MR solution. How could we make Magic Leap, “Magic Cheap”? :)

A functional prototype of the ZapBox MR Kit. The version you receive will be far prettier, have more than four pointcodes, and absolutely NOT come bundled with an iPhone :)
A functional prototype of the ZapBox MR Kit. The version you receive will be far prettier, have more than four pointcodes, and absolutely NOT come bundled with an iPhone :)

Inspired by Google Cardboard, we realised we could combine the power of existing smartphones with some simple physical components to offer MR experiences. With ZapBox, the equation is simple: More Cardboard = More Awesome.

What will I be able to do with ZapBox?

We’ll provide free experiences with ZapBox at launch so you can jump into Mixed Reality right away. The video at the top shows some of the content you’ll be able to try for yourself, including:

  • Painting - ZapBrush, where you can paint in 3D space and walk around your creations
  • Mini-golf - play mini-golf in your hallway complete with an animated windmill
  • Dancing mini-game - Wii Fit meets brain training, a fun mini-game to test your dexterity
  • Xylophone - Play a virtual musical instrument
  • Explore Mars - Send a probe to the surface of Mars and discover fun facts
And these are just for starters...
And these are just for starters...

The content we build here at Zappar HQ for ZapBox is only the start - ZapBox is also fully open to developers. Using our ZapWorks platform we’re empowering the creative community so they can make their own experiences and easily share them with ZapBox users, straight into the ZapBox app - there’s no need to submit and manage separate app submissions for each piece of content.

NB: the cardboard components shown are our internal prototypes. The final versions will be professionally manufactured and the headset will feature a much prettier visual design.
NB: the cardboard components shown are our internal prototypes. The final versions will be professionally manufactured and the headset will feature a much prettier visual design.

All of that, in a box, including shipping, for just $30. We’re crazy good to you guys.

To keep shipping costs down we’re planning to flat-pack the headset and controllers but don’t let that scare you - assembly will be straightforward and full instructions will be provided. You’ll be ready to go in no time.

Out of control controller.
Out of control controller.

What’s not in the box, but is still important?

ZapBox App - The free ZapBox app is your one-stop shop to experience ZapBox content. You’ll use the app to build a map of the codes you’ve placed around your room, and then to browse and experience content.

ZapWorks Studio - ZapWorks is our content authoring platform which allows developers to create their own content for ZapBox, and to instantly preview and share their content with other users through the ZapBox app. ZapWorks Studio is available for free for non-commercial use.

Smartphone - You'll need a smartphone to use ZapBox. For iOS users an iPhone 6 or later is recommended. On Android, most higher-end devices from the last few years should be fine, but see the FAQ at the bottom of the page for more details.

A closer look at the stretch goals

How ZapBox works

ZapBox includes a set of physical markers (you guessed it, made of cardboard) that you place around your room. We call these markers “pointcodes” and we’ve designed them to be detected and identified in camera images very quickly, even when they are small or if there are many of them in view at once.

Thanks to the joy of maths [or math for our American friends] and our crack team of software wizards the ZapBox app is able to build a map of where all the pointcodes are in your room, and then use that map to work out your exact position and viewing direction using the pointcodes it can see at any time. We also use pointcodes on the ZapBox controllers to allow us to fully track them in 3D whenever they are visible to the camera.

As well as Mixed Reality, ZapBox can also offer Room-Scale Virtual Reality experiences. The virtual content can completely cover up the camera feed shown in the background, putting you into an immersive, entirely virtual environment that will react to your movement in space. Any motion of the controllers in the real world will also be accurately mapped into the VR view to provide natural interaction with content.

ZapBox vs Other Devices

There’s a lot of devices out there promising brand new Mixed Reality or Virtual Reality experiences. ZapBox occupies a unique position in terms of the amount of functionality available at a previously unheard of price-point.

Check out the table below for how the different devices stack up. We may be slightly biased, but you can’t deny ZapBox ticks a lot of boxes for just $30!

 

How do I get started with my ZapBox?

Getting set up with ZapBox is super-simple. Place your pointcodes, get the app, and away you go. You’ll be enjoying sweet Mixed Reality content within minutes. Check out the infographic below for some more detailed steps.

From mundane to awesome in 8 simple steps.
From mundane to awesome in 8 simple steps.

How do I develop content for ZapBox?

ZapBox experiences are created in our advanced visual editor ZapWorks Studio which allows content to be positioned and animated and includes an integrated Javascript-based API so developers can add rich interactivity to their content. ZapWorks Studio is completely free for non-commercial use, and we will be running regular ZapBox Developer Contests and sharing the outcome with the user community to ensure a steady stream of awesome content!

If you’ve ever developed in Javascript, or you are just keen to learn, ZapBox and ZapWorks is a perfect fit. We’ve taken care of all the complicated bits so you can just focus on the fun parts! Mixed Reality makes even simple experiences compelling. It’s an entirely new medium with great developer payoff - it’s possible to build something really fun without needing loads of assets or code.


With your support and the imagination of the creative developer community the possibilities really are endless.

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Timeline

The good news is that our R&D team have cracked the heavy lifting stuff of making the underlying technology work from a smartphone (what else were the PhDs for?!).

Now the fun really begins. We’re developing the ZapBox app; plumbing the code into our ZapWorks platform; building the content experiences to ship with ZapBox; and finalising the product specification for manufacture with our partners.

If we hit our goal we plan on having ZapBox in your hands by 31st April 2017.

Who are we, and how do we know so much about this stuff?

Glad you asked!

Zappar team, assemble!
Zappar team, assemble!

We're Zappar, a young and friendly company based in (sometimes) sunny London. We are world leaders in mobile AR & VR, with many years of experience both in research that furthers the capability of the technology and in campaigns that harness its current potential.

We have a lot of experience working with both big and small companies. We recently partnered with Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, in the launching of the largest AR campaign to date, and just last month completed a project for a local school free of charge simply to inspire more children to read.

One learning that we've taken from our wide ranging experience is that the audience for this brave new interactive world is as diverse as it is global and we fully believe it to be a wonderful thing. In our view, great technology shouldn't be something that is only available to a few and likewise we want anyone & everyone to be able to enjoy the thrill of experiencing “zaps”.

We’re on a mission to democratize AR and VR, and now MR too thanks to ZapBox! If another two letter acronym ending in R pops up we’ll probably be all over that too!

Why Kickstarter?

We’re an established company with a track record of producing high-quality software and content, but we haven’t attempted to make a physical product until now. To be able to offer ZapBox at such a low price-point and print so much cardboard (we <3 cardboard) we need to order the various components in bulk, and with your pledges we’ll have the confidence to make such a bulk order and know the demand for ZapBox is out there.

More importantly, the community of users and developers is going to play a fundamental role in the success of ZapBox as a whole. We think Kickstarter is a fantastic way to build and love that community, in addition to making ZapBox available to the world!

We want to make Mixed Reality accessible, affordable, and enjoyable for all; whether you're an experienced developer, hobbyist creator, or someone looking to experience the cutting edge of what's possible in the comfort of your living room.

We really need your support to make ZapBox happen. If you think this sounds cool we’d love to have you as a backer so together we can get on with making the future.

Risks and challenges

We already have a working prototype of the ZapBox app, so we have full confidence in the ability of our software and pointcode solution to deliver awesome MR experiences on current smartphones.

We held off launching the campaign until we'd reached this milestone so we could guarantee that our solution would work. We also wanted to demonstrate ZapBox truthfully to potential backers by showing real footage captured live from a smartphone.

Creating amazing digital content is something that we're extremely well versed in. Given the advanced stage of our ongoing development any risks associated with the software and digital experiences are now minimal :-)

The physical components have been kept purposefully simple, both to help hit our cost target but also to reduce the likelihood of manufacturing issues further down the line. There are no electronic components in ZapBox which helps to simplify our manufacturing and quality assurance workflows.

We've got some experience customizing an off-the-shelf Google Cardboard design with Mr Cardboard who are world leaders in production of cardboard headsets and are lending that expertise to ZapBox. We're also working with Ship Naked who have a wealth of experience in Kickstarter fulfilment and customs friendly worldwide shipping.

We are extremely happy to be working with such great names in these fields and are fully confident in our combined experience to deliver this project to the highest quality to all backers worldwide.

All this being said, delivering ZapBox to you all is a mammoth task that has many moving parts (in the process - not the cardboard!). We'll keep you in the loop with the production process and if there are any unforeseen delays we will openly and honestly let you know about them and how we're working to resolve them.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A BIG THANK YOU

    Thank you for your early support!

    Your name will be included in our hall of fame on the ZapBox website and we will keep you updated with all the latest news.

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ZAPBOX (EARLY BIRD)

    Be among the first to back ZapBox and get it at the reduced price of $25.

    You will receive one ZapBox headset with a lens adapter, two cardboard controllers and a set of pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app once launched and ZapWorks Studio.

    Thank you for your early support!

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    ZAPBOX

    The main course itself.

    You will receive one ZapBox headset with a lens adapter, two cardboard controllers and a set of pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app and ZapWorks Studio. Get ready to experience a new reality!

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    DEVELOPER BUNDLE + BETA (EARLY BIRD)

    A $5 discount on the Developer Bundle (below) as thanks for your early support :)

    We want to get you involved in creating your own mixed reality.

    You will receive one ZapBox headset with lens adapter, two cardboard controllers and a set of pointcodes as well as super early beta access to the ZapBox app and developer tools.

    We’ll also power up your personal ZapWorks account with 10 additional “zapcodes” so you can make 10 different experiences live at any time. A 10-pack of zapcodes would usually set you back $12, so this bundle is already great value.

    But that’s not all - we’ll also throw in a downloadable PDF with print-at-home pointcodes and controller nets so you can start learning the tool and playing with content even before the physical components are shipped! We’ll aim to get you up and running in January 2017, and you’ll get your hands on the final kit by the end of March as part of our first wave of shipping.

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
    • Beta access to ZapBox app (Jan 2017)
    • Beta access to ZapWorks Studio for ZapBox (Jan 2017)
    • PDF print-at-home pointcodes and controller nets (Jan 2017)
    • Hosting for 10 experiences from your personal ZapWorks account
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    DEVELOPER BUNDLE + BETA

    We want to get you involved in creating your own mixed reality.

    You will receive one ZapBox headset with lens adapter, two cardboard controllers and a set of pointcodes as well as super early beta access to the ZapBox app and developer tools.

    We’ll also power up your personal ZapWorks account with 10 additional “zapcodes” so you can make 10 different experiences live at any time. A 10-pack of zapcodes would usually set you back $12, so this bundle is already great value.

    But that’s not all - we’ll also throw in a downloadable PDF with print-at-home pointcodes and controller nets so you can start learning the tool and playing with content even before the physical components are shipped! We’ll aim to get you up and running in January 2017, and you’ll get your hands on the final kit by the end of March as part of our first wave of shipping.

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
    • Beta access to ZapBox app (Jan 2017)
    • Beta access to ZapWorks Studio for ZapBox (Jan 2017)
    • PDF print-at-home pointcodes and controller nets (Jan 2017)
    • Hosting for 10 experiences from your personal ZapWorks account
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 750 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    THE DUO

    Experience mixed reality with a friend and have double the fun. This tier contains everything in the ZAPBOX pledge level, twice.

    You will receive two ZapBox headsets with lens adapters, four cardboard controllers and two sets of pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app and ZapWorks Studio.

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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    210 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE QUARTET

    You guessed it! This is the ZAPBOX pledge times four, with a $20 saving.

    You will receive four ZapBox headsets with lens adapters, eight cardboard controllers and four sets of pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app and ZapWorks Studio.

    Experience mixed reality with your family and friends!

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    32 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE COLLECTOR

    Get your hands on one the first 20 ZapBoxes ever made.

    These will be individually numbered on a first come first served basis, with a personalised message from the ZapBox team. You never know, they might end up being quite valuable... Either way, you’ll know you helped the campaign :)

    We’ll also send you a standard ZapBox so you can keep the special edition version locked away safely with your prized copy of Action Comics No.1.

    (We'll happily throw in all the goodies from the developer bundle for any developers who pledge this amount - just let us know!)

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
    • Limited Edition ZapBox MR Kit
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    Limited 8 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE EDUCATOR

    ZapBox is going to be a great tool for learning. Choose this tier and receive 10 ZapBox sets for your class.

    #BestTeacherEver

    Includes:
    • 10× ZapBox MR kit
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    7 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    MEET THE ZAPBOX TEAM

    Come and meet the ZapBox team in our headquarters in London!

    We will take you on a tour of the capital, including our offices where you’ll be the first to see ZapBox in action, before heading for a meal in our favourite restaurant (and maybe a spot of karaoke if that’s your thing).

    You will also receive four ZapBox headsets with lens adapters, cardboard controllers and pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app and ZapWorks Studio. We'll happily throw in all the goodies from the developer bundle for any developers who pledge this amount - just let us know!

    (Flights and accommodation not included. The food will be real rather than virtual.)

    Note: the delivery date is January but we can meet whenever you like. You’ll receive the first ZapBox MR Kits when they’re ready to be shipped in March 2017.

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE CREATIVE GENIUS PACKAGE

    We will work with you to design your very own mixed reality experience. We will then make it a reality!

    You will of course also receive four ZapBox headsets with lens adapters, cardboard controllers and pointcodes as well as access to the ZapBox app and ZapWorks studio. We'll happily throw in all the goodies from the developer bundle for any developers who pledge this amount - just let us know!

    ZapBox users around the world will be able to access the content you design, knowing that you’re the brains behind it (if you want, or you could keep it just for you).

    Note: the delivery date is January but we can start discussing ideas whenever you wish! You’ll get your final ZapBox kits as part of the first shipment to backers, but we’ll aim to get you set up with prototype components before the final products are ready so you can try out your content whilst we build it :)

    ** Corporate backers welcome. Feel free to get in touch via contact@zappar.com to discuss**

    Includes:
    • ZapBox MR kit
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Funding period

- (30 days)