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Step by step guide to build your own virtual reality cardboard glasses Do you know what Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, recently bought... Oculus Rift cardboard alternative

Oculus Rift cardboard alternative

Step by step guide to build your own virtual reality cardboard glasses

Do you know what Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, recently bought for 2bn$?

He bought a company that produces at the moment one of the most advanced virtual reality glasses on the market. Until now we haven’t seen anything mind blowing in this direction although the technology exists for quite some time on the market. Things are starting to change. The developers of Oculus Rift managed to substantially improve their model based on the new available technologies.

The potential that any pair of virtual glasses can offer is immense. Think what this technology can do for an architecture firm, think what it can do for you from travelling point of view (past, present and future worlds can be available for anyone, visiting any museum can be available for everybody from the comfort of their own house). Virtual  and augmented reality is something that we are all thinking for a long time, but unfortunately the progress until now was really slow.

The results of the guys from Oculus are really impressive, but unfortunately not that cheap. The developers kit can be found on their site at around 350$.

As a “response” to this VR revolution, Google launched an easy method to build your own virtual reality goggles. They do not incorporate the same technology, but it can help you make an idea of the direction that things are going. They have a kit that you can buy, that includes everything and the only thing that you need to do is fold it and use it. You can buy it from Amazon (here for US and here for Europe). They also provide the design plans so you can do it yourself. Below I will show you how you can build your own Oculus Rift cardboard alternative.

I will show you below what are the things that I used in order to build my own cardboard virtual glasses:

  • cardboard design plans downloaded from here (Download Acrobat Reader from here)
  • biconvex lenses for Google cardboard, Neodymium Magnet, ceramic Magnet, Velcro Strips, Rubber Band and NFC Tag – there is a kit from Amazon (here for US and here for Europe)
  • Corrugated cardboard sheet or strong, thin cardboard (you can use one from a large pizza box or a strong shoe box)
  • You’ll also need a ruler, glue, and scissors, an X-acto knife (cutter)

Let’s get started!

First you need to download the design plans and print them on a regular printer.

Then you need to glue the template onto the cardboard box that you have and follow the instructions from the design plans.

Oculus Rift cardboard alternative plans


After you cut the cardboard according to the plans, you have to assemble it as seen on the following images.

Oculus Rift cardboard alternative construction

This is fun for the DIY enthusiasts, but I have to admit that it will take some time to do all the cutting and the assembling.  If I would do it again, I would probably buy the pre cut kit from Amazon (here for US and here for Europe) and assemble it in like 5 min. The method presented here is cheaper, but it’s a lot more time consuming.

Download from Google Play the app (Cardboard) insert your phone into your new gadget and you are good to go.

Either method you choose it’s worthwhile the effort. What you can see with the glasses, even if they do not use the latest technology in the field, is amazing. Don’t use it too much though as you can get really dizzy.

For those of you that need a little bit more information about this, you have below a video that can clarify some of the doubts you might have about this cheap alternative of virtual reality for Android smartphones.

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