German optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss might have died in 1888, but his name is probably best known for the company he founded which still provides camera and smartphone manufacturers with lenses and optics.

While it provides some of the biggest names with lenses, it doesn’t want to be left behind in the virtual reality headset race – which is exactly why it is developing its own pair to compete with the likes of Samsung, Google and Oculus V.R.

The VR One is more closely designed to Samsung’s Gear VR headset than Oculus’ Rift unit, as the Zeiss model also makes use of a smartphone to provide the visuals.

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“VR ONE is a mobile VR goggle which lets you step into a world of new experiences. All you have to do is take your smartphone, slide it into the VR ONE and immerse into another world,” it explained on the website.

The unit is also likely to be more affordable than Samsung’s Gear VR. While there is no pricing details for the Korean giant’s goggles that incorporates only Galaxy Note 4, the VR One will cost $99 (R1 890). Users also aren’t limited to just one smartphone, as the Zeiss model has different drawers for smartphones between 4.7 inches and 5.2 inches.

Currently it supports iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 right from the start, but it has promised that more smartphone drawers will be added in the near future.

“In a few years from now, virtual reality will change our lives and the way in which we perceive things beyond all our imagination. VR ONE represents a generation of affordable VR glasses for multiple devices which excel through leading edge optical design and ZEISS precision lenses for an ultimate immersive visual experience,” the company said in a blog post.

The units are now available for pre-order and expected to be shipped to their new owners in December. Users will also get dedicated smartphone apps for the headset.

“Two Zeiss Multimedia apps are included with your purchase which enable you to watch movies (2D and 3D), view photos and Google Street view, and interact with Augmented Reality.”

[Source – Zeiss]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.