In 2014, Google came up with the VR Cardboard, a very simple piece of cardboard with two plastic lenses that allows you to make VR glasses for just a few dozen of each smartphone.

Although it is not a replacement for a full VR headset, it is an ideal giveaway for companies, and a nice introduction to Virtual Reality. The Aryzon AR Cardboard is the Augmented Reality version of the Cardboard. This piece of smart cardboard does not come from Silicon Valley but just from the low countries, Enschede to be precise! On this page you can read more about the history of the Aryzon AR Cardboard, what makes these AR glasses so special and why everyone should have one.

Made in Enschede

Five industrial design students saw the rise of Augmented Reality. With expensive solutions such as the Microsoft HoloLens and the Mixed Reality headset from Meta, AR seemed unattainable to the general public. Then Niels Ruiter, Kay Hoogsteder, Alex Ceha, Leon Schipper and Maarten Slaa took a good look at the VR Cardboard and then devised the Aryzon AR Cardboard. This would make Augmented Reality available to everyone.

Kickstarter success

The current success of Virtual Reality is largely due to the Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus VR headset. These VR glasses came from the sleeve of Palmer Luckey, a few years later Facebook bought Oculus for billions of euros. Now the Rift is the market leader in the higher VR segment. The Aryzon AR Cardboard has also started as a Kickstarter campaign with a modest target of € 25,000. With eventually 2812 backers and an amount of € 109,995, the Aryzon AR Cardboard can be called quite a success.

What is the Aryzon AR Cardboard?

These AR cardboard glasses are the first affordable augmented reality headset with a 3D view of reality. The Aryzon AR Cardboard uses the camera on a smartphone to scan the environment to project computer images in space in a realistic way.

The image of the smartphone is displayed through the stereoscopic lenses through a mirror surface, resulting in a 3D holographic image. The ingenious system consists of a foldable cardboard smartphone holder, a mirror, a Fresnel lens, glass and a target disc with which the position is determined. You do not even need glue to assemble the Aryzon AR Cardboard.

Cheap AR for everyone

In addition to a convincing Augmented Reality experience, a great deal of attention was paid to the costs, or rather to keep costs down.

The Aryzon AR Cardboard is made of durable yet cheap cardboard, the package is flat and light with which it fits through the letterbox.

You have to fold the glasses yourself as a user, that is a very simple process. You do need a smartphone to use the Aryzon AR Cardboard, but almost everyone has it, you do not have to invest extra.

Aryzon AR Cardboard App

In addition to the “hardware”, software is also required, Aryzon has developed its own app for both Android and A

pple smartphones. You download the app, plug the smartphone into the Aryzon AR Cardboard and you can get started! With the free Aryzon app you can, for example, view 3D CAD models in Augmented Reality. In contrast to a flat monitor you can view the objects in full 3D, you can even walk around them. There are also some demonstrations in the app to give you an idea of ​​what is possible with Augmented Reality. As the Aryzon AR Cardboard becomes more familiar to the general public, more content will become available. It is also possible for companies to develop AR apps themselves.

Target Image Tracker

With an iPhone X and with some Android devices you can use “markerless” AR. Very nice, but you exclude a large group of users from Augmented Reality. The Aryzon AR Cardboard uses a physical disk that is recognized by the software. This allows the position in space to be determined very accurately without the need for the latest and fastest smartphone.

A standard Target Image disk of the size of, say, a beermat is supplied, it is also possible to use own images as a tracking image. This is of course ideal for companies that want to use their own logo as a target image.

The future of the Aryzon AR Cardboard

It will take some time before the Aryzon AR Cardboard will be as widely distributed as the Google VR Cardboard. But that is not a problem, more and more people are discovering Augmented Reality via smartphones, and are interested in portable AR afterwards.

Still, it will take years before AR glasses and Mixed Reality wearables become available and affordable. Until that time Aryzon AR Cardboard is a nice substation where you can turn a standard smartphone into a cheap Augmented Reality glasses. Not bad for these five students from Enschede.