One minute you’re a young mouse in a fantasy world, discovering a glass relic that awakens ancient magic. The next minute, you’re smack dab in the middle of a horror film, making your way through a haunted house with nightmares around every corner. Then you’re in an intergalactic spaceship, on a mission to take down enemies across the worlds. Thanks to the ever-growing advancements in the world of VR, you can traverse galaxies, empires, kingdoms, and worlds- all from the comfort of your living room. And now, thanks to the continuing efforts of the Maker Movement, it costs almost nothing to experience it.
If you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on the latest in VR tech, which can be anywhere from $100 to upwards of $800, there’s a DIY for that. In fact, thanks to DIY makers who put their tips out there, you’re able to make your own smartphone compatible VR headset for less than $20?
Here’s all you need for the project: Cardboard (obviously), Velcro strips, tape (packing and scotch), a pair of Biconvex lenses, a head strap, glue, and your smartphone. That’s all, folks! As for additional tools, you’ll only need scissors (which we assume you already have in your house… somewhere), a cutting board (again, you hopefully already have this because you’re a person), and a box knife.
If you saw the word Biconvex and had a small stroke, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. There are several available options for these lenses available on Amazon in a varying range of sizes. Luckily they’re super affordable, if you only need one pair it’s less than $7! If you want to shop around for other options, the creator from Creativity Buzz gives this advice in the description, “You can use any easily available convex lens. If the focal length is low, like 35mm to 50mm then performance is good. However, those are not easily available. So use the lens from small magnifying glass or toy binocular. Those are having a focal length of 100mm to 120mm.”
The velcro strips are also very easy to find, but you could also easily cut up ones you already own if you don’t want to buy a whole pack (you’ll only need one).
The YouTube channel that brings us this innovative masterpiece is called Creative Buzz, which was originally started by Akash Vaghani, a Youtuber from India. The channel first began as an outlet for his love of engineering and a part-time way to pay off his college fees as he studied Civil Engineering. Now the outlet has grown into full-time work with high-quality equipment and more than 800,000 loyal subscribers. They’ve even created a Facebook Page and website for fans who want to continue to follow and support their maker-friendly projects.
After you complete this inexpensive and easy DIY, you’ll be ready to leave our reality behind and explore the virtual worlds available to you. As a pro-tip, the Maker who created this DIY leaves us with some helpful tips on some smartphone compatible VR apps to try with our brand new headsets, “When looking for apps for Google Cardboard I recommend searching Google Cardboard, durovis dive, and virtual reality in the app store in order to find the most results. My favorite apps are Insidious VR, Google Cardboard, and Roller Coaster Simulator.”
We’re trying to level our excitement, but we can’t control ourselves. Get out there and get gaming, fellow Makers!