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Jan 16

Tech Tuesday: Do It Yourself Virtual Reality

Posted on January 16, 2018 at 10:04 AM by Bill Edwards-Bodmer

By now you’ve probably heard of virtual reality (VR) or even experienced it yourself. Many high-end VR sets provide an amazing VR experience but they’ll also empty your bank account. Fortunately there’s an easier and cheaper way to experience VR: make a VR viewer yourself! Recently, the library hosted 2 programs where we taught people how to make a VR viewer out of scrap cardboard with a few other inexpensive materials that you use in conjunction with apps on your smartphone. The design of this viewer is based on Google Cardboard, which is a premade VR viewer made out cardboard that you can purchase from Google. But where’s the fun in that if you can make one yourself? Here's how to make your own!

A couple of notes:
  • A pizza-cutter or ruler works great to pre-score the bends in your cardboard.
  • Packing tape works great for reinforcing the glued pieces on the frame of your viewer.
  • The conductive touch-screen button is purely optional. We had mixed results with it. Plus, there’s a ton of fun apps that don’t require touching the screen to activate anything.
  • To find cool, free VR apps, simply search for “free vr” in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  • If your phone has a protective case, you’ll probably have to take it off in order for the phone to fit in the viewer.

Have fun and see you at the library!


Anonymous User
January 25, 2018 at 10:48 PM
I'm thinking if my phone is this close to my face it would be blurry...
Bill Edwards-Bodmer
January 26, 2018 at 3:58 PM
Hi! Thanks for your comment! The lenses this project uses are bi-convex, which will create a 3D effect when viewing through them. As long as the lenses are installed so that curved side points away from your eyes, you shouldn't have any blurriness when using the viewer. Let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

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