ZapBox: "Mixed Reality" for $30

Created by Team Zappar

Interactive virtual content in the physical world: play mini-golf, visit Mars, or build an engine in 3D. Then create and share your own content. ZapBox 1.0 is no longer available for purchase. ZapBox 2.0 will be available very soon directly from www.zappar.com/zapbox

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Beta surveys are here!
over 2 years ago – Wed, Feb 01, 2017 at 11:23:19 PM

Hi ZapBoxers!

Firstly we'd like to apologise to beta backers that the calendar has flicked over to February without the beta having been delivered. The main reason for the delay is that it took us a bit longer than expected to set things up in BackerKit, specifically how we are handling the beta access. We felt it was best to take a small delay so that we could better prepare the surveys and be absolutely sure to collect all of the information we need from you. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

With all that sorted (yay!) we’ll be sending the first batch of surveys to collect the information we need from Developer Bundle backers straight after posting this update. This survey will be sent to all backers who pledged at a level that included the Developer Bundle benefits. Specifically, these pledge levels are the “Developer Bundle + Beta”, “Developer Bundle + Beta Early Bird”, along with all pledge levels that were $200 or more.

We’ll also be sending a survey to backers who pledged at the “ZapBox Early Bird” level or any of the multipack levels. During the campaign we offered backers at those levels the ability to add on $10 to their pledge to also receive the Developer Bundle benefits. For those pledge levels we have added an “add-on” item for the Developer Bundle Extras in BackerKit. When you follow your survey link you’ll be able to select the add-on during the survey. If your Kickstarter Pledge already included the additional $10 you’ll have nothing more to pay but make sure to select the add-on so you’ll be asked for the additional details we need. If you missed out on upping your pledge during the campaign but still want to get in for the beta then you can still select the add-on item on BackerKit, and can then pay an additional $10 via the BackerKit page.

If you pledged at the standard “ZapBox” level then sit tight, there’s nothing else we need from you at this stage. We’ll send out your survey to collect shipping address in a couple of weeks.

Beta App Progress

The first beta builds of the app for Android and iOS have been prepared (and the iOS one will be submitted for App Store review tomorrow). Check out the gorgeous start screen below, which also gives a sneak peak into how the design for the rest of the kit has been progressing. We’re really pleased with how it’s shaping up! Big props to our dedicated and talented designers for all their awesome work so far.

Constellation-y!
Constellation-y!

The beta is all about giving developers early access to the tools and app so they can start to explore the possibilities offered by the platform. There won’t at this stage be any of the user-facing experiences that we’ve shown in the campaign video, but we are putting together a video tutorial with a simple experience that you’ll be able to try out (and take inspiration from for your own ideas).

For a head start on development for the beta, there are some things you can start doing right away! Firstly head on over to http://zap.works and ensure you’ve registered for a personal account. We’ll ask for the email address you used to register for ZapWorks in the Developer Bundle survey so we can credit your additional hosting to the right ZapWorks account. Also download and install the ZapWorks Studio tool onto your Mac or PC. This is the same tool that you’ll use to build content for ZapBox (and at least for this first beta the standard ZapWorks Studio release will be used). There’s loads of great tutorials and getting started guides over at the ZapWorks docs site at http://docs.zap.works.

Other Stuff

We’re really close to finalizing the layouts and designs for all of the cardboard components. There’s been a huge amount of work to get to this point, from improving the functionality of the individual components to finessing the unboxing experience. We’ve got a couple more weeks in the production schedule to finalize all the designs before the big cardboard button is pressed.

One improvement in the design we can report is that the headset and controllers will now be shipped fully assembled (we were previously expecting to ship them flat-packed). This will give you a much better first-time experience and easier setup, along with a beautiful reusable box to keep it all in between uses without needing to dismantle anything.

The downside from our perspective is that it increases both assembly and shipping costs quite a bit. We said pledges included shipping and we remain committed to that; but if you’d like to show your appreciation for our reckless focus on quality over profit(!) then there’s a tip jar on BackerKit so you can send a few additional dollars in our direction.

Survey Summary and Beta Plans

Apart from backers at the standard “ZapBox” pledge level, everyone else should see a survey pop into their inbox in the next day or so. If you’re getting the Developer Bundle (either as part of the Developer Bundle pledge or as an add-on to another level) then please fill in those details as soon as you can.

We’re hoping to get the beta apps, video tutorial and downloadable PDF ready by the end of the week. When it’s live we will send invites to the beta apps to all the Developer Bundle backers who have filled in their BackerKit survey by that stage. We’ll keep the surveys open until the end of Feb so no need to panic if you can’t fill it in straight away, but if you can do it by the end of the week then you’ll be in the first batch of beta invites.

Sorry for the slight delay to the beta release, but everything is really coming together now and we’re getting super excited here :)

-Team Zappar

Working on surveys
over 2 years ago – Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 06:18:33 PM

Hello ZapBoxers!

We are (and have been) working hard to get you all your very own ZapBox (or pack of ZapBoxes) just as fast as we can. Things are moving pretty quickly in every aspect of the project now that we're getting excruciatingly close to having a final version of ZapBox in our hands.

Next on the agenda is the much anticipated beta we promised you (and that all of you who pledged for it are hotly anticipating). We are in the final stages of preparing the beta app for submission to stores and still aim to get this to you by the end of January. 

Right now, we're concerned with preparing the surveys that will be sent out to collect the information we need so you can gain access to the beta. We intend to send these at the end of the week (for those of you who pledged for access to the beta, that is) so if you're worried you missed it, you didn't. We'll announce here when we send them so no-one misses it.

One last point is we'd just like to make a quick apology for the longer delays between these updates. The reason for these delays is because we are quite busy making sure that ZapBox will exist and be as wonderful as we all want it to be. Rest assured, we are working as fast as we can and aiming to be as transparent as possible.

Thanks for the patience, ZapBoxers! Right, ZapBox is calling. Back to work ;)

-Team Zappar

Beta backers and Surveys
over 2 years ago – Fri, Jan 06, 2017 at 06:42:55 PM

Happy New Year, ZapBoxers!

We had a tremendous end to the year here at our offices (which we rounded off with some festive karaoke - naturally) thanks to the whopping success of the ZapBox campaign. After a nice restful break we're back in action.

We've actually been back for the past few days but we have a fair bit of information to share and wanted to wait until we had everything together before posting.

What happens next?

There was a rather lovely deposit made into our bank account this week so the good news is that the funds have been received! There were a small number of you who hadn't updated your payment information and weren't charged, but rest assured that if you pledged during the campaign then you'll be able to get what you pledged for and we'll be in touch about collecting payment.

We'll be sending out backer surveys to collect all the information we need from you such as a shipping address. We intend to send these out in batches, beginning with Beta access pledges. We need to get the Beta information sooner which is why we'll be collecting this information first. We'll also send out the surveys for multipack level pledges at the same time, as there's a number of you who have expressed an interest in adding the developer bundle extras to your pledge. For any multipack backers that want to add-on the developer bundle extras but didn’t pledge extra during the campaign you'll be able to do so in the survey providing you're quick as there's only a limited number available.

Friendly neighbourhood BackerKit

We're delighted to be using BackerKit to manage the surveys. Using BackerKit helps us save lots of time by streamlining the survey process, automating data organization, and providing us with pledge management software to make it easy to process your pledge reward shipments. They're also the helpful bunch who will collect any outstanding payments for those of you whose cards weren't changed correctly at the end of the campaign.

You'll receive an email to the address you provided for your Kickstarter account with an invite to the survey. We'll give you a heads-up before these go out so you know to look for them. The invitation email will contain a link to your personal survey. Please submit your responses as quickly as you can since we need this information to process your rewards. Oh, and you won't need to create a BackerKit account to answer your survey either - just click on the link and you're good to go! It's all good news :-)

If you used Facebook to log into your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey link will be sent to the email you used for your Facebook account.

Can I upgrade my pledge in the survey?

Yes. You'll be able to swap for a multipack pledge or any higher level pledge that's still available and you pay for the difference in BackerKit. 

BETA BACKERS

Would you look at that, it's January already. As mentioned above, you guys will be getting your surveys first so that we can collect your operating system of choice, among other things. Your surveys will likely be going out around the end of next week, but stay tuned.

Once we have the information we need, we'll send everyone an invite to the Beta app and a PDF that includes some DIY controllers and just one world pointcode to start with. We’re on track to deliver these elements and the first beta app build by the end of this month so you'll be able to start playing around with the tools as soon as possible whilst we finalize the code needed for in-app camera calibration and map building. We’re currently aiming to have that second milestone beta build out in February, at which point we'll send out a second PDF that includes a full set of world pointcodes.

More on this next week.

And now for something completely different

Got ourselves a late prezzie in the post today!
Got ourselves a late prezzie in the post today!

 

We’ve just received a sample of our final lens adapter from the factory, complete with lovely screen-printed ZapBox logo. The order for the production run has now been placed :)

In other product news we’re continuing to iterate on the cardboard elements and are close to finalizing the die cuts for all of these components. At this point we’re still on track for the delivery dates mentioned in the pledges.

We hope you're all having a lovely start to the year.

Team Zappar

Very funding. Much success.
over 2 years ago – Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 10:50:19 PM

And will we succeed? Yes. We will indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

 

What a terrific ride it's been these past 30 days

ZapBoxers, thank you.

Thank you so much for supporting ZapBoxes bright future. With the campaign finished it's time for us to sink our teeth into getting you all your bundles of cardboard goodness.

We'll continue to update you with any important (or just plain cool) information as the project develops. It's going to get very exciting from here on out.

I really want a ZapBox but the campaign is over. Can I still get one?

We're looking into post campaign pledge managers right now to determine the best way to make everyone happy. The short answer is yes, you'll be able to pre-order a ZapBox (somehow) but you'll need to pay for the cost of shipping. Free shipping was a gift from us to all of our beautiful (yes, you) backers.

We're also investigating options for backers to upgrade to multipacks pledges or add-on additional kits. More on this next week.

The end of the beginning

And so, here we are - the bottom of the update heralding the end of the funding period of the campaign. We smashed it, didn't we?

Don't fret though, for it's also the beginning of the more exciting portion of the campaign. The part where things start to come together. The part where machining tools are made. Where prototypes are played with. Where artists create beautiful illustrations. Where models are sculpted. The part where experiences are designed and tested to make sure they're excellent. Where cardboard is purchased by the ton and sailed around the world on a boat. Where awesome packages arrive to mix up your realities.

Sounds fun doesn't it?

Here's to you, ZapBoxers. 

Something cardboard this way comes
over 2 years ago – Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 08:04:22 PM

Greetings ZapBoxers.

At present we're 189% funded, over 1,200 backers, and have 9 days left of the campaign. You could say that things are going well.

As we edge ever closer to our $60k unlock we feel it's time to share something that we've been cooking up in the ZapBox HQ kitchen - something so good that it deserves to be experienced together. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the $70k stretch goal:

 

What makes this so cool?

If we hit this goal we'll add app support and backend servers to make it much easier for developers to build shared and collaborative experiences for ZapBox. Users will be able to invite others to join them in an experience, and the backend servers will provide facilities for experiences to share and synchronize data with all the participants.

It'll look a little something like this

Two heads under some cardboard are better than one head under some cardboard.
Two heads under some cardboard are better than one head under some cardboard.

We'll use ZapBrush as a test case for this functionality, you'll be able to paint with friends in a shared world; whether you’re in the same physical space or located on opposite sides of the planet! It's like Google Docs but for Mixed Reality painting.

There’s lots of detail for us to work out here, and this functionality is likely to be delivered in a software update after the main ZapBox launch, but, if we meet this stretch goal we’ll commit to making it a development priority once the core functionality is delivered.

Told you it was cool :-)

Team Zappar