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VR One is a budget alternative to Samsung’s Gear VR

Optics specialist Carl Zeiss has launched its own virtual reality headset called the VR One.

The smartphone-docking headset is now available for pre-order, with Zeiss flogging the new kit at just $99 – that’s about £62.

According to the website, the first batch of VR One units will ship before Christmas this year.

The headset comes with handset ‘drawers’ designed to fit specific smartphone models.

The only drawers available right now are for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the 4.7-in iPhone 6.

Fortunately, the drawer range is set to expand very soon, and Carl Zeiss has launched a voting page where users can show their support for possible future handset trays.

Each additional drawer costs $9.90, which translates to around £6 sterling.

The fact that the VR One requires a user’s smartphone puts it in direct competition with Samsung’s own Gear VR headset.

The Gear VR, announced just last month, makes use of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as a screen, mimicking the Oculus Rift headset’s build style.

Every unit will ship with a selection of apps on offer, giving users the chance to watch movies in 3D, view image galleries, and enjoy Google’s Street View in first-person VR.

Excitingly, Zeiss’ VR headset is designed to be open-source, meaning willing developers and enthusiastic tinkerers can contribute to the platform should the stock app fare not suffice.

There are also SDK units on offer so that devs can fiddle with the hardware side of VR One too.

The flagship headset sports a very conservative black-and-white colour scheme, with a VR One logo on the upper front of the device and a Zeiss-branded strap attached.

If you’re keen to throw down some cash on the VR One, you can do so over at Oneteamus.org.

Read More: Samsung Gear VR review

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