Finally, VR For Four Eyes

In the next few years, VR headsets will be everywhere, and everyone will slowly recede into their own little reality that is presented on high-resolution displays right in front of their eyes. One specific group will be left out: eyeglass wearers. VR just doesn’t work with eyeglasses, and a few people in Germany are fixing this problem. They’re creating custom prescription lenses for Google Cardboard, giving anyone with glasses the opportunity to look just a little more hipster.

The folks behind this Indiegogo already run a specialty optics shop in Germany. They have the tools to make custom lenses for spectacles, and they’re the first company so far that has identified a problem with the current crop of VR headsets and has created a solution. The campaign is for a set of lenses that can be attached to Google Cardboard with double stick tape. There are limitations on how strong of a prescription they can make, but it should work for most four eyes.

It should be noted this Indiegogo isn’t the only way to get custom lenses for a VR headset. If you have your prescription, there are a few places to buy glasses online for $30 or so. Do that, remove the lenses from the frame, and affix them to Cardboard.

Print your own adjustable lenses

3d-printed-eyeglass-lenses[Christopher] is really going the distance with his liquid-filled 3D printed lens project. The idea is to create a bladder out of two pieces of clear plastic. It can then be filled with liquid at a variable level of pressure to curve the plastic and create an adjustable lens. He was inspired by the TED talk (which we swear we already covered but couldn’t find the post) given by [Josh Silver] on adjustable eyeglass lenses.

Don’t miss the video after the break. [Christopher] shows off the assembly process for one lens. Two 3D printed frames are pressure fit together to hold one piece of plastic wrap. Two of those assemblies are then joined with JB weld and some 3D printed clips that help to hold it. A piece of shrink tubing is used as a hose to connect a syringe to the bladder. By filling the lens assembly with water he’s able to adjust how it refracts light.

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Improve your vision with computer generated glasses

[Vitor Pamplona] sent in a project presented at this years SIGGRAPH. It’s a piece of hardware that corrects vision without the need for lenses. Yep. software-defined eyeglasses now exist, even if the project is a bit bulky for daily wear.

[Vitor] et al came up with two versions of hardware for this project. The first is a dual stack of high-resolution LCD displays, while the second revision is an LCD with a lenticular overlay. With this hardware, the team can change the focal plane of an entire image, or just subsets of an image allowing for customized vision correction for anyone with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, and even cataracts.

With plenty of head-mounted augmented reality platforms coming down the pipe such as Google’s Project Glass and a few retina displays, we could see this type of software-defined vision correction being very useful for the 75% of adults who use some form of vision correction. It may just be a small step towards the creation of a real-life VISOR, but we glasses-wearing folk will take what we can get.

You can check out the .PDF of the paper here, or watch the video after the break.

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$25 head mounted display


[Jake] sent in his source for a cheap head mounted display. In his writeup he notes that the spy video car comes with quite a pile of handy electronics – video tx/rx, camera and this simple black and white monocle head mounted display. (Which happens to be available as a replacement unit for a mere $20) The screen is a Kopin 300M (Black and white, 300×240 pixels) The display is actually somewhat usable out of the box, but he takes the time to note some simple mods that’ll improve the displays performance.

If you ever bought a virtual boy just to gut the display, then you know you want one. In fact, I’ve got a perfect project in mind for this particular toy.