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Android Phone Turned Into Virtual Reality Goggles

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the everything-has-a-secret-purpose dept.

Displays 103

andylim writes "After years of hype surrounding virtual reality, including the classic '90s movie The Lawnmower Man, few of us can claim to have experienced virtual reality at home. But what if you could build your own virtual reality goggles without having to spend a fortune? Using an HTC Magic and Google Street View, Recombu.com made a simple pair of virtual reality goggles that let you immerse yourself in distant locations. As the article points out, you can also use these goggles with augmented reality apps — although you probably don't want to walk around with them all day long."

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Googles are trying to control our brains (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880363)

Don't put on the "googles" they will try to hipnotise you and control you into sexing with your mother and other ugly people and possibly dogs. Who is behind this? Italians, of course. The Italian secret services control Google and are now trying to expand into mind control over Judeo-Christian democratic Free societies like America!!!!!!!!

Nigger (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880523)

it's a very ugly word. Its only redeeming quality is that it fucks with the easily offended. When it's used for such a good purpose, it's not really so ugly after all.

Re:Googles are trying to control our brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880873)

You think America is free? They must have got to you already :)

virtual reality? (2)

RobDollar (1137885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880365)

aka an iphone strapped to a cardboard box.

Re:virtual reality? (1)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880621)

comes with a free camera phone [hbo.com] .

Re:virtual reality? (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880731)

Exactly. The google maps app that comes installed on the system already has that feature where you can hold up the phone and turn around to investigate the scene. The accelerometer/compass stuff is built in! All this guy did was tape his phone to a cardboard box.

Re:virtual reality? (4, Funny)

cailith1970 (1325195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881189)

But it's such a cool cardboard box! He wrote "Virtual Reality" on the side with a black pen! :)

Re:virtual reality? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882609)

Did I go to the right site? The only text is "Using an HTC Magic and Google Street View we've made a simple pair of virtual reality goggles that let you immerse yourself in distant locations. You can also use these goggles with augmented reality apps -- although you probably don't want to walk around with them all day long.". No pictures, but there is a big blank place where it looks like there should be a picture.

I guess I'll have to check it out when I get home for lunch, maybe it's the browser here? Why can't idiot webmasters use <img source="goggles.png" height="460" width="360" alt="virtual reality goggles for the blind"> instead of flash or whatever the fuck they're using at that lame recombu.com?

Whoever coded that site, for shame!

Re:virtual reality? (1)

David Nabbit (924807) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883823)

It's an embedded YouTube video, not an image.

Re:virtual reality? (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886165)

The original comment stands, in my book.

Re:virtual reality? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883935)

I think it's pretty sweet! Imagine... in just a few short years, a VR headset might be this small! [vpimg.net]

(Aerosmith, Amazing, 1993)

Re:virtual reality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883583)

So basically...

The goggles do nothing! ...that can't be done just by holding the device in your hand.

Re:virtual reality? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885023)

You lose the immersion effect with the iPhone version of Google Maps (even on 3GS) since you have to use your finger to move the screen when in street view. (You have to drop a pin and select the outlined white figure to enable street view if it is available).

Brilliant idea (3, Informative)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880373)

A cardboard box with a phone taped on one end, "Virtual Reality Goggles" written with marker on the side, and an elastic cord to hold it to your head. Man, I totally want one of these. Where do I buy them?

Re:Brilliant idea (3, Funny)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880949)

You should see my time machine. And my hovercraft. And my spaceship.

I got my degree from the University of Calvin and Hobbes.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883175)

I got my degree from the University of Calvin and Hobbes.

Ah, and I was wondering where I can get a degree to be a futurist.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883293)

Let me guess, you majored in Social Psych. Required reading including titles such as: Psychology On The Fly -- How to Have Profound Conversations Whilst Traveling at High Speed on a Sled and Bringing Stuffed Toys To Life -- A Comprehensive Guide to a Fervent Imagination.

Hey, Hobbes was REAL!!!! (0, Offtopic)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884221)

And I shall furiously refute any attempts to rectify my cognitive dissonance to the contrary!

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884507)

Is your doctoral thesis going to be a trasmogrifier?

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881085)

In all fairness, if this had been an iPhone experiment we'd be hearing nothing but how great of an idea it was.

Re:Brilliant idea (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881417)

In all fairness, yes we would hear on how great idea this was. And we would hear about how this is yet again another plot where Apple brings nothing of value, but considers it magic. And to be fair at least that discussion would 1,000,000 comments long, instead of this 50 comment, "Man do they look like wiennies!" posting. You see this time around even a geek will say, "dude get a life!"

I've already got a hack for this (3, Funny)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881797)

Since most of these phones wouldn't last all day on a charge, how about adding
some solar cells on the top of the cardboard box?

Re:I've already got a hack for this (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882641)

Since most of these phones wouldn't last all day on a charge, how about adding
some solar cells on the top of the cardboard box?

I have an HTC Dream, and it lasts all day... I turn GPS off, and don't spend all my time playing video games or browsing the mobile web, but I do have it checking/syncing my e-mail every 5 minutes to both my gmail, and my work's exchange. A full charge on the battery lasts long enough for me to ride the bus to work, put in my 8 hours, and ride home, with what I'd consider "normal" e-mail and talk time usage on the thing. (I'm sending probably 20-30 e-mails a day with it, the rest from my desk)

When I play video games, it depends on the game. But some of them have a way of getting the CPU to be running at full speed for a long time... result? It gets hot, and the battery drains really quickly. Mobile web drains the battery too, but I don't spend my time watching YouTube or surfing Facebook with the thing.

Re:I've already got a hack for this (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29891945)

Yeah, I have a G1. The charge will last a couple days without wifi, bluetooth and GPS on. Unfortunately to run Layers or any other VR software you need GPS and maybe 3G/Wifi.

It's not that horrible really, but if you go to all that trouble with cardboard and all, at least toss in a solar charger. I've been tempted a few times to grab a solar charger online just because...

Waiting for more (2, Funny)

milosoftware (654147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882367)

I'm waiting for someone to tape a 22" LCD to his car's windshield.

Sigh (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880379)

I think all of us could claim to have experienced virtual reality at home. Just not with clunky glasses from the 80s, but congratulations in making an expensive new phone into your very own pair of 80s fail.

I personally own a pair of these: http://www.vuzix.com/iwear/products_vr920.html [vuzix.com] they're exactly what they claim to be, and work just as well. Shame that the technology hasn't made the concept much better over the years. The problem is simply that trying to trick the human vision system is really hard. Doing it in an affordable way is even harder.

Re:Sigh (2, Interesting)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880403)

What would actually involve a bit of innovation is if someone hooked up those glasses to, say, a pocket beagleboard or similar device capable of video output, and ported/hacked Google Street View to output stereo information (or fake it with a sphere and/or luminosity info). In fact, said mini ARM computer could even run Android!

Re:Sigh (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881615)

Unfortunately, since the StreetView camera only records a single image, you can't get the parallax needed for stereo.

Well, you can, sorta, if you take two adjacent streetview scenes, for the left and right eyes, and look perpendicularly away from the direction of travel. You can even take a sequence of these and play them as an animation, with the "trailing" eye being delayed by a frame. But with an eye separation in the order of metres, it really only works with very long views, and makes everything seem kinda tiny.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881579)

Nuts to 'virtual reality'. I just want augmented reality. It doesn't have to be fancy-pants full-colour stuff; as long as I could interface with a PDA or smartphone, something as simple as a directional arrow and marker would suffice.

Something like a low-powered laser drawing an image on the inside of my glasses, say, would be pretty cool. As a bonus, if the laser part broke, I'd still have functional glasses and not a useless piece of plastic.

Re:Sigh (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882673)

I wouldn't buy a pair of those even if you paid me. 1024x768 maximum effective resolution, with the native resolution on the screens being 640x480. It's cool and all, but that's nowhere near enough pixels for me to actually get some work done. My laptop's got a 1680x1050 LCD and I complain that *that's* not enough pixels for me to effectively multitask. Not to mention the harm you're doing to your eye by trying to focus on something that's an inch away from your face.

They're a cool toy, and might be fun for gaming, but not really any good for actual work, IMO.

Re:Sigh (1)

golden.radish (1459385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883427)

Then you want these:
http://www.i-glassesstore.com/i-glasses-i3pc.html [i-glassesstore.com]
800x600!

Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that in 1992 (yes, that's 17 years ago) you could buy the Virtual-IO I-Glasses for $900, and they were 320x240 (claimed 640x480 with scan line interpolation).

Apparently, 17 years is exactly enough time to increase the resolution from 320x240 to 800x600. Hm.

Some articles (from 1998) would claim that defect density is the main problem in high resolution LARGE displays:

from: http://www.ausairpower.net/OSR-0398.html [ausairpower.net]
"
As is evident, the high cost of current AM TFT LCD panels is a direct result of very complex fabrication processes, which may produce often poor batch yields. The bigger the panel and its number of pixels, the greater the odds that a processing defect will occur rendering a pixel or row/column of pixels dead and thus resulting in an expensive and useless reject.
"

So... would the logic then extend to smaller LCD panels being EASIER to make in higher resolutions? It seems reasonable. However, if that's the case, why isn't the market full of high resolution small LCD panels that can be used to make these $900 into $100 units that everyone could be using instead of massive LCD monitors?

Re:Sigh (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885377)

So... would the logic then extend to smaller LCD panels being EASIER to make in higher resolutions? It seems reasonable. However, if that's the case, why isn't the market full of high resolution small LCD panels that can be used to make these $900 into $100 units that everyone could be using instead of massive LCD monitors?

There's a practical limit to useful pixel density for most computer uses. Some, the higher your resolution the better... things like photo editing and medical imaging, for example. For something like text display, even a 100dpi font would look pretty small/squished on a 300dpi display, unless you were artificially increasing its size so that it takes up more physical real estate on screen. Now, Windows Vista and 7 already do that for icons... they automatically adjust the size of the icon based on the dpi of your display, as detected through plug & pray. It's not impossible to do this for fonts, and with modern computers it's not even a serious hinderance to performance, even if you start doing anti-aliasing to get rid of jaggies from the enlargement. But if all you're doing is displaying text, why spend the extra money on a screen with a super-high pixel density?

Plus, the fabrication of high density screens is always going to be harder than low density screens. There *may* be some merit to what you're saying, in that it could be easier to make a high density small screen than a high density large screen -- I haven't looked into that, but my cell phone has a pixel density of 140dpi on its screen, and my netbook is 180dpi, whereas my 15.4" laptop is only 120dpi -- but just from a physics standpoint, it's going to be easier to make a 20dpi screen than a 120dpi screen.

Re:Sigh (1)

EvilMal (562717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884219)

Not to mention the harm you're doing to your eye by trying to focus on something that's an inch away from your face.

Actually, the focus is fixed to about 10 feet with those.

Re:Sigh (0, Troll)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885581)

Actually, the focus is fixed to about 10 feet with those.

The image may appear as though it's a big screen 10 feet away, but the physical display device is an inch away from your eyes, not to mention the frame itself. Your eyes are focusing at a fixed focal length an inch away from the eye for prolonged periods of time. That causes eye strain at best, and permanent damage to your eyesight at worst.

Do not want. (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880385)

We already have enough problems with people running into walls, other people, walking into intersections and getting run over by buses -- and that's with just iPods and bluetooth ear leeches. People go driving off bridges, across corn fields, etc., with navsat equipment... And before we solve the human interface problems here, we're talking about immersing people further?

At the rate things are going, we'll all be walking into each other and talking to walls, and occasionally driving off cliffs... And this'll be considered normal.

Re:Do not want. (1)

ndik (1186119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880395)

That's why contingencies such as an on-screen radar with human sensoring will be implemented. Though that's just one idea...

Re:Do not want. (2, Funny)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880481)

You might not be taking it far enough [imdb.com] !

Re:Do not want. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881165)

Or here's another possibility [youtube.com] .

Re:Do not want. (1)

Tokah (859694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29885561)

Dagnabbit, hit mod button by accident. Great link, by the way!

Re:Do not want. (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880537)

We already have enough problems with people running into walls, other people, walking into intersections and getting run over by buses -- and that's with just iPods and bluetooth ear leeches. People go driving off bridges, across corn fields, etc., with navsat equipment... And before we solve the human interface problems here, we're talking about immersing people further?

We've already addressed this problem. It's called the Darwin Award! [darwinawards.com]

They have Honorable Mentions, too.

Re:Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883115)

I see that you are of the school of thought that logging solves everything.

Re:Do not want. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883597)

Odd how the "Darwin Awards" site doesn't understand evolution!

Double Dipping (darwin award)
North Carolina | Greensboro was innundated with four inches of rain in two hours but Rosanne, 50, was not deterred.

She's fifty, she's probably a grandmother. If so, she wins the evolution game, if you are childless you lose.

Trifecta Electra! (darwin award)
Florida | The Slush Pile mods say age fifteen is too young to win

Much older than that is to OLD to lose the evolution game. As soon as you procreate, you win.

These people are as clueless as the idiots they showcase.

Re:Do not want. (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883899)

Maybe the childless lose the evolutionary game... but we each have our own idea of what the game of life is, and as far as I'm concerned, being childless means I totally win. :D

Re:Do not want. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29886319)

we each have our own idea of what the game of life is

Well, the game of LIFE yes; the yuppies say "whoever dies with the most toys wins" while my idea is, since you can't take it with you, whoever dies with the most toys LOSES.

But in the game of evolution (not life), dying childless loses -- that's the end of the game for you.

Of course, having kids doesn't mean you win; neither of my kids has kids, so I haven't won the evolution game. Yet.

Re:Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883735)

It will work wonderfully as population control!

Re:Do not want. (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883831)

Ooh, it's like real-life Lemmings! [wikipedia.org]

Dear Slashdot... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880429)

Really? Is this worth your front page?

Not stereoscopic (3, Informative)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880433)

This rig isn't stereoscopic and therefore isn't a pair of "virtual reality goggles" in the classic sense.

Re:Not stereoscopic (2, Funny)

FinalMidnight (652617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880467)

Which suits me, as I'm monocular! I don't even have to take off my dashing eye patch!

Re:Not stereoscopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881029)

21st Century Monocular Man!

Re:Not stereoscopic (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880581)

This rig isn't stereoscopic and therefore isn't a pair of "virtual reality goggles" in the classic sense.

In outdoor scenes, you can't tell anyway. Stereoscopy only matters for objects out to a meter or so. The change in relative position of near and distant objects is a more powerful cue than stereoscopy. (You don't have enough information from Google StreetView images to do that anyway,)

When Jaron Lanier demoed his original virtual reality system to me in the 1980s, he mentioned that once one of the two SGI machines driving the two head-mounted displays had gone down, so they just piped the same image to both displays and nobody noticed.

I'd like to see a modern VR system with a frame rate of 120FPS or better and a lag of no more than two frame times between input from head motion to image display. That might actually not suck.

Re:Not stereoscopic (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880995)

Goggles are too intrusive. However, the 'beam images into your retina' article earlier today is about the right shade for me. Lightweight, fit like normal glasses that I wear anyway. Inobtrusive 10 cm 'display 3 feet 'away'.

I'd kill to have something like that for pilots to provide terrain awareness in Instrument Meterological Conditions! Just being able to 'see' terrain in a small box, where red is above you, yellow is less than 1k feet below, and green more than 1k feet below, fading to show distance would the BOMB!

Maybe even allow overlay of google maps so you could 'deadstick' to a road at night or in fog if you have a power failure...

Would be awesome... Today's aviation GPS is a far cry from just a few years ago, but still just hint at what a beamed retina HUD could do... I'd drop a grand or two for one in a hearteat!

Re:Not stereoscopic (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881673)

There's still the problem of the image being too close. You can tell that the image is less than a foot from your face. You could actually fix this with optics, of course.

As far as fixing lag goes, you can predict reasonably accurately where the head is going to be, but yes, fast accurate measuring is better.

Re:Not stereoscopic (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880583)

Yeah I was also disappointed that they didn't divide the screen and turn it into a video stereo-opticon. These google goggles are greatly gimpy.

Re:Not stereoscopic (1)

javaman235 (461502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880587)

But the stereoscopic googles are out there. http://www.i-glassesstore.com/ig-hrvpro.html [i-glassesstore.com] This would be cool with a couple of small cameras outside the goggles, so you can overlay your view with data. I could see a whole new kind of video game, where you play out in the real world with things nobody else can see (except fellow players) of course you'd look schizophrenic, buy hey, that'd be half the fun.

Re:Not stereoscopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881421)

Of course they're not Virtual Reality Goggles. They're Virtual Reality Googles!

Why stop there? (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880449)

Using just a laptop with a built in motion detector and a series of steel poles to rig it to your body you can do exactly the same thing but in higher resolution. From a simple netbook to a 21" monster its all possible and creates a higher resolution virtual reality experience. Going higher resolution why not drive it from a 30" cinema display, sure dragging the cables around is a bore but its virtual reality with exercise built in.

Oh hang on you wanted actual tactile touch, object interaction and other genuine immersive elements that signify the difference from a pair of goggles and a true virtual reality experience.

Nope we don't do that.

This is the virtual reality equivalent of carving little pictures into asprin and claiming they are Ectasy tablets.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880609)

Damn it. So what's my recourse for buying bogus ecstasy tablets?

Re:Why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880737)

2 steel poles____seler's arse

Pffft (1)

balbord (447248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880451)

They do close to nothing.

I...I am so... sorry. I'll leave now.

Re:Pffft (1)

FelixNZ (1426093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880529)

So you would say: "The Goggles! They do close to nothing!" ?

How to get a free Nintendo DS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880477)

email me at tonyzmadmodz@gmail.com and I can get you a free nintendo DS.

Re:How to get a free Nintendo DS (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880559)

email me at tonyzmadmodz@gmail.com and I can get you a free nintendo DS.

So what did Tony do to piss you off?

Re:How to get a free Nintendo DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880783)

he's been spamming craigslist. ;) you are very astute.

How odd.. (0, Offtopic)

black3d (1648913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880507)

It wasn't posted by kdawson..

Post Modern (0, Flamebait)

Dyne09 (1305257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880527)

It's like Slashdot is parodying itself by posting this. That, or it didn't meet it's daily quota of articles on Android.

Re:Post Modern (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882303)

I dunno. It's about half a year away from being April 1st, so I'm not sure if it's a spoof. On the other hand, it's almost Halloween, so maybe this guy is just prepping his dork outfit.

I'd have laughed my ass of if his phone rang as he was demoing his awesome VR goggles.

Is this some kind of joke? (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880579)

Virtual reality? More like real dorkness. ^^
- This is neither 3D or stereo,
- nor has it an acceptable viewing area or
- resolution. Also it has
- no fitting 3D sound,
- does not allow any movement outside the street view paths, and very importantly,
- has no time dimension (nothing moves, or happens, in that frozen world).

Sorry, but gluing a phone to your face does not make it VR goggles,
just like building a spaceship bodywork around your mountain bike will not get you into orbit. ^^

Re:Is this some kind of joke? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880713)

The goggles, they do nothing.

Re:Is this some kind of joke? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29890169)

...just like building a spaceship bodywork around your mountain bike will not get you into orbit. ^^

No, but to think it would work you'd have to be high. ;)

More goggles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880615)

Another story about goggles today, huh? Why is everyone so obsessed with goggles?

Re:More goggles? (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881183)

I have no Idea. As far as I can tell, the googles do nothing.

October 26, 2009 (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880725)

At the age of 12 years and a month or so we are sad to announce the demise of Slashdot. It will be missed.

Classic 90s movie (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880745)

Is this some use of "classic" of which I have been heretofore ignorant?

Re:Classic 90s movie (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881993)

Haha, I thought the same. Since when The Lawnmower Man is a classic movie? It's been panned by the critics of the time and rates poorly at 5.0 with 11.000 votes on Imdb. Still, it made money [boxofficemojo.com] back in 1992; I guess for some people that all it takes to make a classic!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880765)

Hahahahahahaha!!

OMG! that's just fuckin' priceless :D

Best laugh I've had all day! Thanks for that.

Very much needed after hearing today that a friend committed suicide a few days ago.


Seriously though I thought he'd add in some sort of fresnel lens so you wouldn't have to focus your eyes real close , and why didn't he cut out the front panel of the saftey goggles?
It reminds me of this Radica stealth fighter toy [ebay.co.uk] which I have, unlike the Tomytronic 3D games (which I have all 7 variants of) it uses a single backlit screen and a fresnel lens, it also has a rudimentary motion sensor to steer the plane in the game.

I present you The Matrix VR (5, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880771)

synopsis: when the phone battery wears off, Neo realizes that he no longer is saving the human race from enslavement in a VR world constructed by Aliens, but really was wearing a cereal box duck-tapped to his head all along.

Better On (almost) All Counts (4, Funny)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880777)

1. Go to Babes(or Dudes)OnCam.
2. Open a webcam window
3. Open a second instance of the same webcam
4. Size the the same and place them side by side.
5. Look at them cross eyed until you get a far more interesting pseudo-3D VR than some street view of someplace, without goggles, Googles, immersion, or Androids.
6. Or go blind.
7. Just kidding, that can't happen.
8. No, they won't get stuck either.
9. Mine? They've always been like this.
10. They have so. Really.
11. Wait, androids? That would be SOOOOO.....
12. What? oh. those. Nevermind.

Re:Better On (almost) All Counts (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884189)

5. Look at them cross eyed until you get a far more interesting pseudo-3D VR than some street view of someplace, without goggles, Googles, immersion, or Androids.
6. Or go blind.
7. Just kidding, that can't happen.

I can move either eye independantly in a horizontal plane. I can also control my eyes' focusing muscles, even though that's supposed to be an autonomous function. Maybe that's why my outcome with the CrystaLens was so much better than normal, I don't know.

But at any rate you're right, your eyes won't stick crosseyed. Crossed eyes that won't uncross is called strabismus, and it comes from a birth defect (Evil-X is crosseyed). People with that condition can't see stereoscopically, so maybe the guy who built the "VR" glasses has this birth defect.

Better for augmented reality (2, Interesting)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880869)

Obviously this isn't really "virtual reality", still it's a neat concept.

I think it could be quite a bit more useful for augmented reality, though a custom made device would be better (especially if it provided peripheral vision). I wouldn't mind a nice Terminator HUD, though maybe a bit less red.

Why the hate? This is a good idea. (4, Interesting)

Snowtred (1334453) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880885)

To everyone dogging on this article, consider a few things.

The whole setup (cardphone, goggles, phone) looks cheap, true, but it IS cheap. It'd be magnitudes cheaper if you made a similar device without the phone, just able to load locations. Spend the savings on a much more comfortable headset and attachment. Hundred bucks, maybe $200, and you know who would love this? Kids. Maybe 2nd to 6th grade. Young enough NOT to complain about the look as I'm seeing here.

I know my elementary school history education consisted of reading about a culture, and then looking at pictures in a book, usually drawings, sometimes photos. Replace those pictures with these things, and kids would be 10x more interested. And you could definitely put learning into there. Have a scene of a Native American village, a Roman forum, a Civil War battle, or real modern scenes, all in 360 degrees, controlled by the student. It would be simple to tie this into learning and assignments. Have them list pieces of technology they see in the panorama, and explain their functions or how we have a different tool today, or put in an unnamed scene and have them guess the culture along with their reasoning.

I think cheap solutions using everyday technology like this has LOADS of practical applications, and should be commended and developed upon.

Re:Why the hate? This is a good idea. (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880947)

I bet one of these [fisher-price.com] are cheaper and probaly do a better job for kids. OK, so its static images, but the concept isn't new.

Re:Why the hate? This is a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881169)

I think Snowtred said something sensible. Not just stopping at a headset, head mounted displays range from 200 GBP to 30,000 GBP. Stepping up just a notch, with an OS like Android, I am sure it is possible to program real-time stereoscopic processing required for a complete 3-D experience. That too, when the view is a static image, buffering and cache-ing would not be so much a challenge.

Step this up another notch, or right up the ladder of programming challenges, how about a 3G video call with a real time stereoscopic processing? Initially (meaning next 5-6 years) such high speed processing would be beyond the capability of a phone-software. Initially, it would be more a domain of DSPs and special purpose chips, as are used in the military. But as phone processors get more powerful, 3-D could definitely be within reach.

We could keep the cardboard mount.

Two screens? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881047)

When he showed a picture of one of those toy 3d viewfinders, I was hoping that it would have two phones, showing a stereoscopic image of sorts. Maybe move the screens a little closer to your eyes for the full 3D effect. You could probably mod (or compile an existing) version of Doom 2 to support displaying the 3D sprites of enemies inside the levels. I don't know if Android phones are capable of running quake 1 or quake 3 but that would be interesting at the very least. A G1 runs as low as $100 on ebay if you shop around. Maybe someone could finally build a proper virtual boy [wikipedia.org] emulator!

Re:Two screens? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29884639)

You could probably mod (or compile an existing) version of Doom 2 to support displaying the 3D sprites of enemies inside the levels

Not only could, but someone did not with DOOM 2 but with Quake 2 almost ten years ago. They had stereoscopic screen shots you used the colored 3D glasses to see.

The problem with using a phone display as VR glasses is you would have to be incredibly nearsighted to see anything, or wear a pair of geezer reading glasses to artificially produce the needed myopia. How closely can you focus your eyes?

Virtual Reality? (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881347)

Get outside - there's the part about the sun and no it won't hurt you...not much and not for long anyway.

friSt sTop (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881487)

Posts. 0Ther3fore ones in software

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881617)

Hes really cool.

What does the phone do? (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881685)

It would give a much more 'realistic' experience if he didn't have the phone blocking the view out the front.

AR is here. What apps are next? (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882077)

I am one of the lucky few that has actually used a true VR rig at Autodesk in the early 90's. And as others have pointed out, the OP is not VR. Much like the flying car, VR simply asks too much of you to gain widespread acceptance.

But augmented reality is a completely different game and stands a good chance of being the next big thing.

Since this is /. let's make the effort to get our terminology correct.

The OP shows us that AR is starting to arrive. If Apple showed up with iAR glasses, what apps would you want to use / create?

Re:AR is here. What apps are next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29883181)

Since we're talking augmentation, I want the goggles from Fred Saberhagen's "The Mask of the Sun"

Re:AR is here. What apps are next? (1)

F34nor (321515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29888785)

Take a look at http://cellagames.com/artd.html [cellagames.com] It is by far the most impressive thing I have ever seen a phone do.

If you have a Nokia e-series Symbian phone with a camera you can fire up an awesome AR game right now. You print out a series of cards that have a block bar code system on them and place them on a flat surface. The camera reads the codes and the game converts them into 3D and projects bad guys, bases, and lasers on the screen. Its not fully mature and your arm gets tired but you can pan around your coffee table playing desktop defense but it is really interesting.

He left out the 3d... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882311)

When he started talking about Viewmaster I thought he was going to build a stereoscopic viewer. That's what made the Viewmaster compelling... not that it was "immersive", but that it was 3d.

Also, he left out the high-speed-measuring-and-cutting-the-cardboard montage that would make it look like a real wacky science show episode.

It would have been much cooler if he demoed one of those apps that combines the camera view with geopositioning info to show you the way to the nearest Starbucks.

what about Real Virtuality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882633)

Why don't you just turn the camera on on the back of the phone, that way you can experience the real world around you through the goggles... then you could have Real Virtuality.

Designer leather Chanel Wallet,Coogi+Diesel= jean (0)

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The Goggles...! (1)

Fdisk81 (833349) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883029)

They do nassing!

Want to see what she would look like naked? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883231)

There's an app for that!

v-VR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29884031)

Wow! And now for something completly different! It's the ANDROID GOOGLE-EYE-ZR!

Seriously, this could actually be 'viewed' as a prototype for a cheap Google pseudo-vr accessory.

LOL - I worked with VR in 1995, and then you couldn't do with a $100,000 system what you can do with a $150 phone and wireless contract with Sprint. Sure I the Division computer system I worked with was fully immersive, but the display was only 640x480, rendering you legally blind. And the environments had to be constructed from the ground up, unless you used the canned demos that came installed with the system, which we did.

Back then I'd have given up the stereoscopic capacity of the goggles for the sense of place that comes with the input of information from Google.

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