Hacking VR: Prescription lenses & adapters.

I'm nearsighted and my VR headset doesn't have a provision to correct for it. Wearing glasses inside a VR headset was an awful experience!

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Issac Newton was once quoted as saying "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".

This hack is very much in spirit with that statement, and in my case it is quite literal.

Without several engineering and pioneering individuals I actually would not have been able to so easily put this apparatus together. I see much further (inside of VR) because of several awesome people who shared/documented their work.

This is a log of what I went through, the hacks I did, and what I ended up with at the end.


Left top portion by Spiraldox

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 386.41 kB - 09/15/2020 at 07:24



Left spacer by Spiraldox

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 96.37 kB - 09/15/2020 at 07:24



Left bottom portion by Spiraldox

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 579.09 kB - 09/15/2020 at 07:23



Right top portion by Spiraldox

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 378.79 kB - 09/15/2020 at 07:23



Right spacer by Spiraldox

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 96.37 kB - 09/15/2020 at 07:23


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  • August 31, 2020 - 02

    cprossu09/15/2020 at 07:51 0 comments

    I am into this project for less than $40! That's if you include the plastic I used (Overture clear PETG) and the power I used, plus the eyeglasses. I'm feeling pretty good about this.

    I would like to mention now that it is an amazing feeling when you are using your 3D printer to print a part that is not made to fit to your or another 3D printer. It feels like you have accomplished something amazing!

    Now I am going to show you me putting the "v3" adapter I didn't end up using together, since I did not take any pictures of putting the original set together which I popped the lenses into and worked fine. The process is exactly the same however.

    This is one of the top parts and one of the bottom parts. We will be gluing these together with super glue. Do not have the spacer inside the assembly, you do not want to accidentally glue that part in!

    The best way for me was to first dab some glue on the perimeter, hold it together like a tack weld, then go in from behind and give the seam a good once over with the superglue.

    I let these cure for more than a day before trying any of them, as I had been warned that superglue has the ability to fog up optics and leave a layer you cannot remove easily (The same effect that happens when they use superglue fumes to lift fingerprints applies here, and you don't want to ruin your optics because you couldn't wait a bit!)

    My glasses arrived, and quite frankly were amazing. They fit well, I could see through them wonderfully, and they felt like they were high quality. Probably will do this next time I need actual glasses again.

    Prior to taking these apart, I marked the bottom of each lens with a different colored marker so I could identify both RIGHT and LEFT lenses by their color, and the bottom of each lens by the dot so I could match the orientation. Orientation of these lenses is important.

    The glasses come apart with a small Phillips head screwdriver, and I was careful not to scratch anything or strip any screws. I am also wearing a pair of cotton inspection gloves so I don't scratch any lenses while I am working with them.

    I pulled out one lens at a time, and press fit them into their holders using the 'bottom' notch as my reference compared to the dot I put on the lens.

    Rinse and repeat for the other side.

    The spacer goes between the "Top" piece  and the actual protrusion on the headset lenses. That way it lifts it up a bit, you might have to change the thickness of that spacer to get it where it's perfect.

    I have to say I have zero complaints, this has been absolutely fantastic, and now I can just put my VR headset on and rock out without any of the annoyances or harm of wearing eyeglasses inside the headset. I can use these lenses with different adapters should I want to try out a different headset too.

    If you have a VR headset and want a cheap pair of lenses to use with it, this is a great way to go, and do some searching on thingiverse, you will likely find something that works for your headset and gives you the right 'cheap' eyeglasses to order for the best fit!

    Thank you to everyone who inspired this and to who provided me all the files and knowledge I needed to pull this off. I hope my documenting my journey inspires others to do similar and gain a much better VR experience for themselves along the way.

    Let me know if you have any questions!

  • August 18, 2020 - 01

    cprossu09/15/2020 at 07:21 0 comments

    Back in May 2019 I purchased a Samsung Odyssey Plus VR headset for myself to go along with the new gaming computer I was building. I primarily bought it for it's high refresh rate for the time (90hz) and it's high resolution for the time (1440x1600 per eye) amoled displays, for what was a dirt cheap price of $270 US. To be frank, it really holds up well today!

    Up until recently I have not used it too much myself.

    I was able to set it up at my hackerspace for fun events such as the rebroadcasting of the moon landing and other things. We were able to run games on it as well as that really cool Apollo 11 VR experience, and it gave me a real appreciation of the technology, but also showed me a few limitations I couldn't get around easily, or so I thought.

    For an instance, the controllers sucked down batteries at such a rate that it would quickly become an environmental hazard. I found out that the easy solution, using NIMH batteries was not possible due to a general oversight of the Windows Mixed Reality platform. The hand controllers did not like anything below 1.5volts per cell on their batteries, and a fully charged NIMH would read low battery, cut off quick, or leave me with reduced and awful tracking.

    I found out later that a bit of the severe tracking issues that I had were related to my Bluetooth adapter not playing ball with the trackers, and this was also contributing to the radios in the controllers using even more power than they would have exasperating how poor the battery life was. The ultimate battery fix was to buy USB rechargeable lithium batteries which have a buck converter to keep them at 1.5V as long as the battery has enough juice to run it. The lifetime I gain is easily worth the inconvenience of them dropping dead without warning, as my pile of dead alkalines would easily weigh as much as I do by now!

    the bluetooth fix was to use a different adapter entirely. Neither of those are worth a post by itself in my book.

    The funny thing was I was using a crummy external USB adapter due to losing the antenna for the one that was built into my motherboard.

    Once I found the antenna that came with my motherboard, my trackers/controllers worked about a million times better than they did with the little bluetooth dongle.

    The biggest issue and hurdle though for me was the fact that I could not see at all at any kind of distance. In the normal world my nearsightedness is so bad that everything over a foot is basically a blur. My close up vision is amazing, so my (completely wrong) thought was the idea that I was going to be right against a screen, so everything should be in focus... WRONG!!! Turns out that the fresnel lens inside of most VR headsets focuses at/around 2 Meters. So if you have problems seeing things at that distance in real life, the same problems will show up in VR too! I am of course overgeneralizing things here, though we have enough to go on.

    You can wear your glasses inside of VR, but I have had several issues with it that I will try to lay out using silly (and not so silly) images I found on the interwebs:

    You now have 6(!) that's SIX, I mean six surfaces that can get covered with dirt, sweat, hair and whatever else happens inside your VR headset. That is to say the fresnel lenses themselves (the side facing you has a surface per lens), and your eyeglasses both front and back. You best have the costco bulk pack of lens wipes (which you will be pulling out every 5-10 minutes) if you want to continue seeing clearly in VR. This is more than a little annoying.

    The bridge of your nose and your ears will likely take a beating as things that shouldn't put pressure on your glasses and force them into horrible positions. This really hurts, especially if you are using VR for hours on end.

    Your eyeglasses can actually hit the fresnel lenses, and at the very least your fresnel lenses could be scratched (mine are to some degree), and your eyeglasses could become scratched too if they are not made up of tougher stuff...

    Read more »

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Elliot Williams wrote 09/17/2020 at 10:47 point

FatShark FPV goggles have slots that accept diopter lenses.  My cheap chinese FPV goggles don't.

Bought $7 +4 reading glasses, cut off the edges and earpieces, wedged them in, and done. Works, but ghetto.

I really like the custom 3DP solution.  If I ever get serious about the FPV thing, I'll give it a look.  Smart choice to buy round lenses!  I'm going to have a heck of a time modeling the ones I've got.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 09/15/2020 at 20:39 point

Always wondered how VR goggles would work for those of us who wear glasses. And Zenni FTW!

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cprossu wrote 09/15/2020 at 21:11 point

I'm sure eventually we'll get some form of adaptive optics on these types of headsets where we can just dial things in. With what I learned doing this though once they figure that out it will be a case of trying to make the best compromise for the greatest amount of people, and that's just to get the strength right, never mind correcting for astigmatism. As for my supplier for the lenses I was genuinely surprised by the quality I got back from them on this set of glasses, I don't think I'll do it any other way again especially with the stickershock I got this year from my old eyeglass place plus the loss of the 1 hour lab they used to have but don't anymore due to COVID-19. They let me know they wouldn't be done in an hour _AFTER_ they swiped my card. Wish I had known that going in.

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