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Can’t afford a $3,000 HoloLens? Perhaps this $30 alternative will interest you

Come and check out "Aryzon", a Google Cardboard-like AR headset project is currently seeking €25,000 in funding on Kickstarter.

Published onMay 30, 2017

Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens isn’t available in its final form quite yet, but if you want to get your hands on the pre-production model, you’ll have to shell out $3,000.

For 1% of that price, Aryzon wants to bring you its own AR headset. Currently on Kickstarter with a goal of €25,000 (~$28,000 dollars), Aryzon’s self-titled headset is aiming to be the “Cardboard of AR,” a low-cost entry into the world of augmented reality using a smartphone as the viewfinder.

Compatible with both iOS and Android phones, Aryzon ships as a DIY kit that you put together and then insert your phone into. Once set up, you’ll have access to Aryzon’s app and various AR “experiences” — said to be updated continually. The team also says that the headset will be “fully accessible” to developers of AR smartphone apps so that they can adapt their applications.

“Aryzon hopes to create a community who are passionate about AR development,” it says on the Aryzon Kickstarter page, “allowing the platform to be optimized and improved with the objective of becoming the go-to platform for augmented reality content creation and sharing.”

The longevity of the product will depend on the other content Aryzon continues to roll out to the app (and how frequently it does this), and whether third-party creators make use of it for their own AR products; Aryzon can hope that others will want to develop for it, but there are no guarantees. As it stands, Aryzon looks like it will offer a lightweight introduction to the world of AR — and that might be a good investment for 30 bucks.

As of the time of publishing, you can still become an early-bird backer to get the headset one month early (August) for the price of €24 (~$27). It has more than €17,000 pledged of its €25,000 goal with over a month left — it seems pretty likely that this one is going to take off.

Check out Aryzon at its Kickstarter page here.