The biggest (hardware) issue I have with google cardboard and google plastic is the field of view. For one, the lenses are far enough away from your eyes that there's already more border than on a macbook air (I can make jokes like that, I have one, no flamewar plz), and once you get past that about a third of the space through the lenses is empty!
I HAVE A 5.5" PHONE. NO PHONE SHOULD EVER BE THAT BIG, YET IT'S STILL TOO SMALL.
I thought "Why not just stick the lenses as close to my eyeball as I can and put the phone 10mm away? That way it'll fill the whole lense!"
The following is my attempt at doing so.
Something that can print at least 150x150. Sorry OLO buyers, this needs to be BIGGER than your phone.
Many fillaments. Many
Comes in handy
"Ryan Mitchell"-type human
If you are or you have a Ryan, this will be the most comfy VR you will ever experience. If not, it WILL be horrible.
Zenfone 2 ZE551ml
This project is tailored to this phone specifically. It's easy enough to redesign it, and you'll probably want to.
So work's busy as always, and the time I'd usually spend tinkering around with my own projects is consumed by cutting stuff out and printing things (Add "LASER" and "3D" to those to make them sound way cooler).
Anyway, that aside, a little gift from Shenzhen arrived today, a fresh batch of lenses!
Hopefully a little clearer than the ones that've been melting away in my old cardboard headsets for the last year. I do have one that's pretty clean, which was enough to test with, but it was still just one.
I'll have to check if they behave the same, no point tailoring the headset to a lense if you can't get them anymore (Or can't buy them as cheap as others).
The description should make clear my opinion on the whole FOV thing, I wanted to take a photo but even my wide angle gopro clone couldn't take a picture the way my eye does.
My thought is close the gap between my eyes and the lense, get as little leakage as possible, and put the phone as close to the lense as I can, like pressing a magnifying glass onto the middle of the tv; you're never gonna see the edges of the tv.
Anyway, remembering seeing the lenses you get in your bog standard original cardboard, 25mm biconvex stuff with a 45mm focal point, I didn't think it was worth bothering with those.
I happened to stumble across an article about a diy google glass project using the optics from some 2007-style video glasses. These things look like they have a 10mm gap between the lenses and the screen, so that's a good starting point.
The glasses, about $50 these days.
Looking around for a bit, I couldn't seem to find much else on them, but it did make me think of magnifying glasses, bottom right, which claimed a working distance of 0.5-1cm, so yay, I'll order a pair.
More video glasses lenses on the left, the zoomy zoom glasses on the right.
A problem I can see with the zoom zooms's is that although the lense focuses on things half a centimeter away, the lenses themselves are so far from the eyes at that point. Oh well, worth a shot...
Anyway, out of curiosity I grabbed out an old cardboard and started playing around with its lenses. By default they're 15mm away from my eye and 45mm away from the phone.
I decided to shove one of the lenses onto my eyeball, as close as I could, and see what the focus then was like.
When the phone was touching my nose, everything had perfect focus, and close to my entire vision was covered, spare two small slivers (one of which is usually just blocked by my nose anyway).
(I feel kinda let down by google on that one).
Anyway, so the lenses work and they work great. Problem is, how to get them so close to my eyes?
At first I thought just mount them on something with a bend to avoid my nose, but that's not as close as it can be and I don't want the nose ridge in the way.
A cutout for the nose wouldn't work because I want these damn things as far into my eye sockets as I can manage.
I'm currently thinking cones, like the ones in the rift dk1/2, but much smaller. Have them fan out super quickly, and press the device onto my phones screen. Once all the distances are worked out I'll build a housing around this all with straps.
Thinking now, I could even conform the cone enclosure to my face, put on a little fabric to make it comfy.
First thing though, make the cones and maybe a rig to get the distances perfect.