DIYing A VR Headset For Cheap

VR has been developing rapidly over the past decade, but headsets and associated equipment remain expensive. Without a killer app, the technology has yet to become ubiquitous in homes around the world. Wanting to experiment without a huge investment, [jamesvdberg] whipped up a low-cost headset for under $100 USD.

The build relies on Google-Cardboard-style optics, which are typically designed to work with a smartphone as the display. Instead, an 800×480 display intended for use with the Raspberry Pi is installed, hooked up over HDMI. An MPU6050 IMU is then installed to monitor the headset’s movements, hooked up to an Arduino Micro that passes this information to the attached PC. The rest of the build simply consists of cable management and power supply to all the hardware. It’s important to get this right, so that one doesn’t get tangled up by the umbilical when playing.

While it won’t outperform a commercial unit, the device nevertheless offers stereoscopic VR at a low cost. For a very cheap and accessible VR experience that’s compatible with the PC, it’s hard to beat. Others have done similar work too. Video after the break.

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Glasses Heads-up Display


[Ozan] sent in his first attempt at making his own heads up display. The optics are very simple in design, and he gutted a commercial heads up display (ICUITI) for the LCD panel and interface electronics. I haven’t played with many head mounted displays since the Nintendo virtual boy. I’m not up on my field of view calculations, so it’s difficult to equate this to a commercial headset.