For anyone who is interested in virtual reality interfaces or the developments within gaming software and hardware, you will have heard of the Oculus Rift.
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality, head mounted display, developed by Oculus VR, that allows the user to be immersed within the game they are playing. With the additional headphones, this could be considered the ultimate gaming experience.
Until recently, I had heard of the Oculus Rift: through friends and several gaming youtube channels, but I was not interested in investigating the product further.
That was until Google produced its own Google Cardboard, providing an .AI file that allows anyone to download and manually cut (or more preferably laser cut) out their own Oculus, aptly naming it the ‘Oculus Thrift‘
Released in 2014, ‘Google Cardboard’ was developed by David Coz and Damien Henry, engineers at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris. The product operates by using the viewers smartphone to run and play different VR apps. The phone is inserted into the front of the headset and two magnets fixed to the side can be used to simulate the click function. You also need too purchase two lenses to optimise the viewing experience, but apart from that, some bits of velcro and cutting it all out, anyone can have their own Oculus for a fraction of the price.
Here is my mine just after it was laser cut.
Even though this is just a cardboard cut out, with an NFC tag, velcro and two magnets, it is really worth trying out! Depending on the quality of the VR app you choose to download, you really get to experience what the actual Oculus is like!
Not the most elegant of designs I will admit, but this is where things get interesting…. on the Google Cardboard webpage, there is a link for manufacturers and a downloadable kit to make your own design with advice on branding guidelines and component specifications! As far as I have read, there is nothing stopping individuals from creating their own designs.
So, I have decided that I would like to have a go at developing my own design: taking my first ever attempt and developing it into a more refined, unique version. I already have a few ideas about the construction and I am looking forward to blogging about the future design developments.
Watch this space!