I just sold my Rift dev kit on ebay. Fuck it.

Eight months ago, I got really, really high.  High enough to buy an Oculus Rift without any experience in 3D modelling software or unity (ok, I had dicked around in sketchup a few times).   The rift just seemed like the perfect thing to dive right into and I’m an impulsive person sometimes.   Whatever.  So I spend my $315 for the dev kit and in the mean time, I go out and buy a brand new graphics card and pc, just to get the hydradeck humans demo to run smoothly.    It took over a month for the rift to arrive, btw.   When it finally arrives, I’m ecstatic,   I practically rip open the box, plug everything in and start the humans demo.   HOLY SHIT, it’s real.  I won’t go into the experience details because every other site on the net has done it already.  It’s very easy to imagine the possibilities of this thing based on that short and sweet demo but…..  That’s pretty much where the excitement ended for me (minus Kim Laughton’s timefly, a VR music video w/head tracking: http://kimlaughton.tumblr.com/post/61036543495/oculus-rift-owners   which is also a wonderful example of what can be accomplished with minimal graphics and good music in a vr environment).


Yes, I understand there are some decent games available and on the way, but that wasn’t the reason I bought the rift.   I bought it because it’s going to be the next level of human interaction and self expression over the internet.    Again, I was high and it was wishful thinking to expect a full, open source, greater-than-secondlife experience upon the rift’s arrival, but I’ve made much worse decisions with my money (like the rusty 1979 school bus I was going to convert into a house).   There’s a reason why Zuckerberg dropped 2 million dollars on the project.  It offers an immersive alternative to Google Glass and at a much lower cost.  While I hope glass takes off, I think there’s certainly room for both of them and I wouldn’t be surprised if Google doesn’t come out with a new version of Glass with Oculus like FOV and a shield for immersion combined with current AR capabilities but we’ll have to wait and see….  wait…..   wait…. wait…. and see.  I’m tired of waiting on these companies,  all of them.  Necessity is the mother of invention though, right?  How about impatience?  How about having a laser cutter, some tools, and a toy VR headset to tear apart?  Maybe a decent smartphone?   Maybe I can…. (not high this time, i swear)  BUILD MY OWN HMD!?!?  Yeah, it’s a long shot, especially not knowing if these toy VR lenses will be adequate but at least it’s worth a try, eh?    I’m sure this is exactly what the creator of the open dive project thought as he was building his first prototype.   So no, I’m not taking credit for creating the first HMD to use a smartphone, I’m just trying to help you understand how easy these things are to make with stuff you might have laying around the house, sans the laser cutter of course.  What’s even better?  It’s really easy to convert unity games to work with android (w/ stereo vision), you just download the unity plugin on the durovis site.


Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for:


” I just sold my rift dev kit on ebay.  Fuck it. ”


Since ebay and paypal have gradually hiked up their fees, I only got $275 but it allowed me to buy a Samsung Galaxy S3, the heart of this project (and a much needed upgrade to my shattered evo V).

With the S3, some rare earth magnets, a woman’s stretchy belt (from goodwill) and toy vr set in hand, I started designing the new headset around these three pieces.


First, I took apart the Toy vr headset:


It’s a “Virtual Reality World II” in case you’re wondering.




The above pic shows where the lenses will be.  There’s no glue holding them in, they fall right out once you get the top plastic off (just some screws).



This isn’t the full tear down, these pics are post-op, but I can assure you it’s a very simple unit to take apart w/ a small phillips head screwdriver.


With the lenses and rubber face piece off,  I integrated those with the dimensions of the s3 into this design:


The lenses conveniently have circles where they should be drilled and tapped (i used a #6).  Be careful, as they scratch easy.  I used a microfiber towel to make sure nothing scraped them during this process.









lots of hot glue and several hours later, I came up with this:

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I’ve tested it with various opendive demos and it works great!  The ideal phone for this would be the galaxy note 3 because it has a 5.9in 1080p screen, but virgin mobile doesn’t offer it and the s3 works just fine for now.


I’m not sure what the specs are on the lenses but i bet theyre not far off from the actual 25mm open 3d lenses, although i could be wrong.


Feel free to modify the design.


Now I just need to learn blender and unity, and I’LL B C-ING U ALL N CYBERSPAZE.



























Karaoke Bombing

Lately, I’ve been hitting up bars around town and one event that really seems to (still) draw crowds is karaoke.  Thanks, Japan, ya fuckin’ asshats.  Really though, It’s mostly annoying and listening to people try to sing songs the way the original artists sung them gets old fast.  As I was sitting through some theater major’s floaty performance of a popular song i can’t recall the name of,  the idea came to me that KARAOKE COULD BE DIFFERENT AND SHITTIER/BETTER WITH A BATTERY POWERED VOCAL EFFECTS PROCESSER ON A BELT CLIP, namely, the original Kaoss Pad. I drank some more and sent myself an email with the idea so i wouldn’t forget about it.  The next day, I came up with this:

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(click to enlarge)

It’s powered by 8 AA batteries in a pack and uses a homemade adapter to convert the RCA output to the XLR jack connected to the karaoke microphone.    I made a (rough) belt clip out of some thin scrap metal had.

I recommend anything by justin bieber w/ a high pitch shift effect so you can say “Hi, i’m little justin bieber” before you start singing.  I also recommend repeating “bieber” over and over again with the high pitch effect on.    Finally, nothing beats rubbing one out on stage w/ a kaoss pad.  Kicks!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any videos yet but I’ll try to make one and post it soon, i promise.

Fact: I was reluctant to add the buzzword “bombing” but I did so because as soon as i walked into the shitty ol’ bar i was about to tear up, the emcee/karaoke dj saw the kaoss pad on my belt w/ the homemade battery pack and actually thought it was a bomb.