Happy Meal Hack Produces A Google Cardboard Test

Penguin Binoculars

Ever since Google Cardboard came out, [Julian Jackson] had been meaning to give it a shot. Affordable virtual reality? Who wouldn’t! But, he never got around to it — until one day he was sitting in McDonald’s with his son, explaining to him how the latest Happy Meal toy worked — it was a pair of penguin binoculars.

Fast forward past Thanksgiving and Black Friday and [Julian’s] son had completely forgotten about the McDonald’s toy in all the excitement, so [Julian] asked if he could have it. His son was mildly confused, but curious also, so he let his dad take his toy.

After attempting to dismantle it with a screw driver to get at the lenses, [Julian] carefully calculated the best place to simply break it without damaging them. With the precision of a heart surgeon he swung back his trusty hammer… 

The end result is neither pretty, nor very functional due to the long focal length of the lenses (about 6″). But it was enough to allow [Julian] to play around with the Google Cardboard App — which is really all he wanted to do. Happy Meal hacking should almost be its own event, right?

A Happy Meal Hack

For more functional versions of home-made Cardboard kits, check out our recent VR Roundup.

27 thoughts on “Happy Meal Hack Produces A Google Cardboard Test

  1. “With the precision of a heart surgeon he swung back his trusty hammer… ”

    If you want to see a hammer used with surgical precision, watch a hip replacement operation. Or don’t, if you want to believe that surgery is all subtlety. Hip ops strike me as incredibly hacky, albeit a hack you don’t want to try at home.

  2. I won’t go so far as to calling it child abuse, but taking children to McDonalds, at the very least is the celebration of mediocrity, cultural emptiness and the encouragement for developing bad taste.
    If somebody would be inclined to crave for poorly processed salty “meat” with flaccid vegetables between two used cotton swabs, why not let them find out after they turn 16. Do not encourage this in kids during the stages of development when they are most impressionable.

    1. Perhaps this is true, I for one have never let my children have happy meals as I don’t like the thought of luring children to eat unhealthy with the prospect of a cheap and sometimes contaminated Chinese toys (‘VOLUNTARY’ recall of cadmium laden painted cups anyone? http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-06-04-mcdonalds-recall-shrek_N.htm YUMMY!). However, I don’t feel that totally staying away from fast food is realistic either but something that requires moderation and careful consideration. Parents that eat fast food daily with their children and especially those that use it as a reward should really think about the future they are setting their children up for.
      Overall, I really feel this isn’t the place to discuss the dangers of fast food as this is just a happy meal toy hack and at least a moderately interesting use for a Chinese trinket.

      1. Woooooo! Do these guys know how to party or what?

        But seriously, let your kids have fun, eat certain foods in moderation, and if your worried about what they are learning TALK TO THEM. (Source: I was once a child, a healthy child that loves french fries)

    2. You were a kid once, you know what kids do. If you completely avoid something like McDonalds, and never take them, they will get older and do it as much as they can. It’s probably best to avoid that with moderation.

    3. If you’ve never had children, let me enlighten you: children need to eat. They have cast-iron stomachs and constitutions that make adults weep tears of envy. But they are also extremely, mind-bogglingly, almost unbelievably picky. Even when they are not very picky compared to peers. The victory, then, is in getting them to eat ANYTHING, much less something “healthy.” They’ll survive an occasional happy meal, it puts in calories and some days, that’s all that matters.

      1. It is not so much a health issue as it is a taste issue. This type of rubbish sets the bar very low and this shows in whole generations. The upside is that when you do get them to taste real food, their head explodes (in a healthy way).

        Be honest, the texture alone of the average fast food product is generically mushy and undefined. This alone accounts for the general preference for texture-less and therefor often tasteless foodstuffs. Basically it’s the preference not to chew. That is not being picky, that is stupid.

      2. I agree.

        I have a 7 year old, a 5 year old, 3 year old and a 1 year old, so I’ve been doing this parenting thing a while. Dietitians and pediatricians that know anything about child nutrition will tell you it is likely impossible to balance a child’s diet on a daily basis. You balance it on a weekly basis to the best of your ability and supplement if necessary due to any unique requirements. Also, kids do NOT have the same nutritional requirements as adults! They actually need to eat more fat than adults, in part due to some vitamins that are fat-soluble as opposed to water-soluble that they need in higher quantities.

        I agree that children (even ones who are “less” picky) are difficult to feed. Tastes change randomly, sometimes even hourly. Take your victories where you can, do your best to help your children be active and feed them the healthiest food possible at the time. A superfood/high nutrition salad with low sodium may seem like a great idea, and it’s not impossible that the child may decide to eat it. It is also possible that the child in question may decide it is Cheerios Day. Until a person has children of their own they are simply consultants without certification.

        1. “Until a person has children of their own they are simply consultants without certification.”

          The occurrence of having children does not automatically render you an expert. It simply makes you, at the very most, an amateur in the field. Arguing that without some specific arbitrary experience I can’t have a valid and substantiated opinion is simple a argumentative fallacy.

          Your bit about diet does not inherently necessitate children to get their fix at cheap tasteless fast-food extravaganzas. I feel you are simply excusing your own laziness in providing the proper supplements yourself in a proper wholesome package.

          Question, If your kids are under-preforming in school, would you encourage them to take the easy route? Drop the course level a few notches to “army grade” material? No, you would not…

          1. “The occurrence of having children does not automatically render you an expert. It simply makes you, at the very most, an amateur in the field. Arguing that without some specific arbitrary experience I can’t have a valid and substantiated opinion is simple a argumentative fallacy.”

            It’s a bit like hacking on stuff. Just because somebody has never picked up a soldering iron or written a line of code, it doesn’t mean they can’t make perfectly valid authoritative statements on a technical subject. It doesn’t mean they can’t say that the project isn’t a hack, or that it’s flawed, or not worthwhile, or that they could have done it better.

            We should value these people. They have unshakeable values, independent of all practical concerns. They have vision unbounded by their own knowledge. A certainty in things that experts lack. The raw material for Dunning Kruger. These are the very people who make discussion on the internet the truly unforgettable experience that it is.

            Here’s to all the experience-free experts.

    4. This is dumb. I have 3 kids, 2, 4 & 6 years old, and we eat Mc Donalds at least 4 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I know the meat isnt the best meat, so twice a week I only let them eat vegetable items on the menu (mostly french fries as these are basically just mashed potatoes).

      Lately, my oldest daughter has been having medical issues, high cholesterol and diabetes, and we believe something in the Mc Donalds is actually helping her. She is always happiest when we go there, and I don’t appreciate you bullying me or my kids because you don’t value Mc Ds.

        1. Every now and again I have to exercise my inner-troll, lest I lose touch with my troll side forever!

          Besides, everyone knows trolls make the internet a more interesting place ;)

    5. Meh. 4 kids 11-21. We think highly enough about our diets that we raise 80% of our own food (garden, meat birds, eggs, dairy cow). We still eat out several times a month (at fast food places). As someone else said, moderation in all things is good. Our kids have turned out healthy and interested in eating well, but also know the value of not being too rigid in their diets.

  3. i did this but used some crappy binoculars i had laying around and cut some holes in 3d glasses then taped the lenses to it

    works surprisingly well…i was going to make a head mounted version using the box the phone came in but the novelty wore off and i haven’t used em for a while

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