Got an old cardboard box? Make your own VR goggles for under $10

youtube 360 heatmaps google cardboard
Google Cardboard

You know Google Cardboard? The super cheap virtual reality headset made from a sheet of foldable cardboard and a pair of lenses? Ever since it was first announced back in 2014, dozens of companies have developed their own take on the idea, and nowadays you can get your hands on a fully functional cardboard VR headset for about 20 bucks — sometimes even less.

That’s pretty damn cheap by most people’s standards, but what you might not realize is that you can build a DIY  version for even cheaper. Google open-sourced the design specifications for the headset shortly after they announced it, so you can easily build your own with a few basic hand tools, a spare sheet of cardboard, and some cheap lenses from Amazon.

Weekend-Workshop-DIY-google-cardboard_3

You can access all of Google’s technical specifications and design schematics here — but truth be told, Google’s directions are so comprehensive that they’re almost confusing. So, in an effort to keep things simple and easy-to-follow, Instrucables user mnatanagara put together a much more approachable build guide. We like these plans better than Google’s, since they doesn’t require you to make a bunch of measurements and draw out all the parts. Instead, you just print a template on regular printer paper, glue it to your cardboard, cut everything, and fold it together. Here’s everything you’ll need to get started:

Tools:

  • Utility knife/razor
  • Scissors
  • Metal edged ruler
  • A large, solid cutting surface

Materials:

  • Printed templates (download them here)
  • Glue (both stick-style and Elmers)
  • A 2’x3′ sheet of corrugated cardboard.
    • Pro Tip: you might want some extra for your first build, just in case you make a mistake. Also, thinner shoebox-like cardboard is best, but you can make do with the thicker “moving box” variety if that’s all you’ve got. Just don’t expect all the pieces to fold nicely if you use the thicker stuff.
  • A pair of 45mm focal length biconvex plastic lenses, either 25mm in diameter (GC 1.0) or 37mm (GC 2.0)
  • velcro patches (preferably somewhat weak)
  • Copper foil tape
  • A small piece of dense foam (roughly 0.25″ x 0.25″ x 1.0″)
  • velcro patches (The cheaper the better. Expensive stuff is too grippy, and you only need a weak hold)

Once you’ve got everything together, you can find the full build instructions here. Happy building!

Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Computing

The best Chromebook deals available in August 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Home Theater

The best HDTV antennas for 2019

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be tricky. To aid in your cord-cutting quest, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Deals

The Apple Watch Series 3 is back down to just $199 at Walmart today

The Apple Watch Series 3 packs a lot of smarts and convenience in such a small unit, making it an ideal companion for everyday fitness tracking and connectivity. You can order the 38mm version today on Walmart for only $199.
Computing

The best laptops of 2019

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

Wreckage, reefs, and robots: The high-tech quest to find Amelia Earhart’s plane

Over 80 years ago, American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared while trying to fly around the world. Now an autonomous water-based robot could help find some answers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s satellite projects will study the sun using solar sailing

Small satellites can be used for all sorts of purposes, and NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware. The agency has announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites.
Emerging Tech

Hubble captures a beautiful cosmic jellyfish made of glowing gas

A new image from Hubble might look like a deep-space jellyfish, but it's not a sign of extraterrestrial life - in fact, it's a planetary nebula called NGC 2022, located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter).
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe makes a second orbit of the sun, captures solar wind on video

The Parker Solar Probe, launched last year, has completed its second orbit around the sun. To celebrate, the team responsible for the probe has released a video showing solar winds in action.
Cars

Starman on Tesla Roadster makes first orbit around sun, braces for loneliness

Starman and his Tesla Roadster, sent by SpaceX to outer space last year, have completed their first orbit around the sun. The people on Earth may be able to catch a glimpse of the cherry-red electric vehicle on November 2020.
Emerging Tech

Bernie Sanders calls for a ban on police use of facial recognition

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for a complete ban on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement as part of the new criminal justice reform plan he introduced this weekend.
Emerging Tech

On the fence about buying solar panels? Tesla now offers them for rent

With solar rental Tesla says “customers get the best from solar power — clean, cheap energy to power homes and vehicles — without upfront costs or decades-long agreements. In fact, customers can get solar power with one click, instead…