But at a rumored $200, and another four times that for the Galaxy Note 4 phablet you need to use with it, the Gear VR is a steep investment for people looking for a holdover.
To address that gap in the market, several manufacturers are developing cheaper versions of the Gear VR's "viewfinder" model—stripped of all hardware and relying on your smartphone's display and accelerometer/gyroscope array to provide a virtual experience. Most, like the Dodocase Smartphone VR Viewer, ape Google's Cardboard kit, which the company distributed at their I/O conference earlier this year. They're cheap and they're clever, but they're leaving a fairly wide gap in the market. Now, one company has decided to jump into the gap, and it's a surprising one.
Carl Zeiss is primarily known for optics; while in truth that only accounts for a small fraction of a multibillion-dollar corporation, it's the company's camera lenses we're most familiar with. Now a small team within the company is leveraging that reputation into a $99 headset called the VR One. And in a move straight out of Oculus' playbook, Zeiss is entrusting its growth to the developer community.