You can have a truly mind blowing virtual reality experience without spending a lot of money. Try it, it's stunning!
EDIT 1: Do not confuse Google Glass and Google Cardboard. Glass is augmented reality, whereas Cardboard is 3D virtual reality. This instructable is about 3D.
EDIT 2: Vote for this projects if you like it! Thank!
Recently, the Google Cardboard project made much buzz, and motivated me to complete this project. But it is the Durovis Dive project, which exists since several years already, that has been my trigger to start this project.
All these Dive and Google people have made a great job (great and astute hardware design, great apps) and I want to thank them for having made VR so easy!
This is the name of the present project. Similar to Google Cardboard, with the following advantages:
The basic principle of stereoscopy is to deliver to each one of your eyes an image of the same scene, but with a slightly shifted perspective point of view.
Your smart phone, by means of dedicated apps, will part its screen in two halves, one for each eye. The lenses will allow you to focus on the screen (because at approx a 5 cm distance, your eye cannot focus without help). The head mount, goal of the present project, will hold everything together.
Virtual Reality (VR)
The smart phone can, in addition to just generating the stereo images, use its acceleration- (i.e. tilt) and magnetic- (i.e. compass) sensors, in order to update the viewpoint inside the virtual scene, in accordance to your movements and orientation, creating a true and stunning VR experience.
Step 1: VR Alternatives
Depending on your expectations, you have several other options. Here are a few and what I can say about them:
Oculus Rift - whole hardware included
Durovis Dive - uses your smart phone
Google Cardboard - uses your smart phone
In order to interact with the scene (in particular, to select an object or menu item that you look at), they simulate the mouse click (or screen tap) by detecting a quick change of the magnetic field. So, no bluetooth nor USB device is needed. You just to have to slide the magnet up and down again.
Please correct me if the above is inaccurate.
OK, I should also mention toys like this one. Serious alternatives, really. Very cheap, looks a bit above Happy Meal. Need the addition of the magnet (to simulate clicks).
Step 2: Working with Polycarbonate Hollow Sheets
The polycarbonate, as translucent hollow sheets, is a very nice material for crafting.
It has several interesting features:
The above pictures show how you can obtain very nice bends, with the inside forming straight angles, and the outside becoming very nicely rounded:
I used a cutter, a Dremel (but it is really optional), and an X-Acto knife to clean the cuts.
Step 3: Needed Materials
It is necessary to slightly plan your project ahead. Indeed, the only critical part (apart from the smart phone itself, of course) is the pair of lenses. I got my ones from the Durovis Dive project, from Amazon. Currently out of stock, maybe the effect of Google Cardboard...
You will need an Android smart phone with Android 4.1 or above, or an iPhone if you insist on (there is one Durovis Dive game, and one demo). A 4.3" display is ideal. Bigger screens should work too.
Step 4: Needed Tools
Step 5: Choosing Your Blueprint
In this Instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-3D-Head-Mounted-Display-using-your-smartphone/ they have done a great work providing (in Step 1) several blueprints for various phone sizes.
Carefully choose the one matching your phone size.
Step 6: Cutting the Frame
From the chosen blueprint you will need to cut out the top, bottom, and the two lateral walls.
Step 7: Making the Frame Bends
As explained in step 2, mark and cut away the inner separators corresponding to the frame bends.
Step 8: Clipping the Frame
With pliers, bend the two nails.
Make a short cut into the bottom wall to allow the nail properly meet the side wall.
The frame is done.
Step 9: Making the Lenses Holder
Photo 4: the result
Step 10: Making the Lenses Holder (cont)
I needed to have the lenses slightly nearer to my eyes than the holder would allow, so I had to cut two polycarbonate rings.
The rings are glued on the holder with hot melt glue.
Then the lenses get carefully glued on the rings, by means of four drops of hot melt glue.
Step 11: Making the Tightening
Drill a long hole on each side of the frame, in order to be able to adjust the position of the lens holder.
Drill a regular hole in the holder's flap. align and mark the proper height of the hole's center.
Install the M4 screw with nut and washers, connecting the lens holder to the frame.
Step 12: Adding the Rubber
Drill small holes in the frame, and tighten the rubber by means of iron wire.
Step 13: Resulting Polycarbonate Pieces
Now our polycarbonate pieces are done.
With this design and materials, the object can be disassembled and re-assembled as many times as desired with no problem.
I attached my design as SVG file, for a Sony Experia Z1 compact phone. But keep in mind that your dimensions may differ, depending on your chosen blueprint to match your phone.
Step 14: Adding the Magnets
The 4 mm cubic neodymium magnet can freely move inside a chamber of the polycarbonate sheet.
The regular whiteboard (ferrite) magnet is ideal to pair with the neodymium one: The ferrite one is big enough to be manipulated, strong enough to hold very well. Using two neodymium magnet would make them very difficut to move.
One could seal the chamber by one drop of hot melt glue on each side.
Step 15: Finished Product
The product is now ready to dive into 3D virtual reality!
The 2nd picture shows all the finished parts.
It could bear some more improvements such as:
But really, like me, you're way too impatient to use it, so it can be done later!
Step 16: Set the Focus and Enjoy
Get a good focus for each eye. At best, rest the whole on a table, phone facing the table top, and move each washer of the holder to get a good focus for each eye.
Start your Google Cardboard or Dive app, and enjoy. Two android apps to start with: