I tried Zapbox, it's like Vision Pro AR without the wild price tag

Zapbox hands on; two men in a room, one using a AR headset
(Image credit: Future)

Can't stomach the price of an Apple Vision Pro? Then Zapbox could be the AR gateway gadget for tapping into 3D creativity you've been looking for. I recently paid a visit to Zappar, makers of Zapbox, a new AR device designed to turn your iPhone into a 'Vision Pro lite'. It's not VR but AR, using passthrough video, Lidar, and the tech inside an iPhone to create 3D interactive spaces in front of me, and it works really nicely.

I've tried AR before with mixed results, but Zapbox is different. The idea is a little like the old Google Cardboard. A lightweight frame sits over my head and an iPhone slots into a cradle in front of my eyes. The difference is Zappar has picked up on the good design ideas from the best VR headsets, for example there's an adjustable strap and dialled clamp to tighten the headset as found on PlayStation VR2, and tailored these to an iPhone-powered head strap and controllers.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.