Earlier this week we took a look at one of the latest virtual reality accessories to launch for smartphones, the VR One from Carl Zeiss. It looked a bit like the Samsung Gear VR, what with its strap for head-mounted operation, but sounded more like another Google Cardboard, dialing back on the custom software and hardware – though that also meant a much lower price point than the Gear VR, coming in around $100. It looks like that’s just the start of a flood of similar devices from competing manufacturers, and today we check out an even more affordable option, as Archos announces its VR Glasses.
Maybe even more so than the VR One, this is some very bare-bones hardware, consisting of little more than a frame, strap, and lenses – again, essentially a professionally-made Google Cardboard (albeit plastic). While that’s not too exciting on its own, the sticker price might be enough to make the Archos VR Glasses a compelling impulse buy: at just $30, it may even cost less than what you paid for your phone’s case.
The no-frills aspect of this accessory also makes it eminently cross-platform, and Archos touts compatibility with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone handsets – up to six inches in size. Whether we see interesting software arrive from third parties on all these platforms that takes advantage of headsets like the VR Glasses remains to be seen; on Android, at least, Archos intends to update its Video Player app to support 3D titles.
Sales of the Archos VR Glasses start next month, directly though the manufacturer’s website, as well as at participating retailers.