Students create an inexpensive VR headset, similar to Google Cardboard, that predates it by a week

Last week, Google I/O 2014 introduced the world to Android L, Android Wear, Android Auto, and much more. Although there weren’t many lavish device giveaways like previous years, Google did offer attendees a fun little device called Google Cardboard.

If you missed our in-depth coverage of Google Cardboard, it’s a device that converts an Android mobile phone into a virtual reality headset using inexpensive items. While this is an interesting concept on its own, what’s more interesting is how students from a Cupertino high school created a similar device almost a week prior.  

The device debuted at the Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age Conference at Stanford University. The headset, dubbed Face Box, closely mimics the functions and construction of Google Cardboard. The students took common household items and constructed their own virtual reality headset.

The conference took place on June 17th, with the students demoing a working model, complete with a functional gun controller. Both of these items were paired together, completing the virtual interactive environment. 

Although neither of these headsets are replacements for the Oculus Rift, it’s a different approach that shows that virtual reality can be brought to the masses in an efficient and inexpensive way. The Face Box demo from Entertainment Technology in the Internet Age Conference can be seen in the source link below. 

Source: SFGate | Image via SFGate 

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17 Comments

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I've thought that Google's cardboard was primarily intended to be a fun thing to get developers thinking rather than something Google thought was really innovative and groundbreaking.

Clearly, there are already many people working on the idea of using a phone as a VR headset - as far as that Google recommends using the lenses from the Durovis OpenDive Lens Kit if you want to make your own Cardboard. And the Durovis OpenDive is a plastic holder thing to use your phone as a VR headset.

Making a holder out of cardboard instead of plastic isn't exactly groundbreaking. It's a one-piece cardboard origami thing though...

who cares, nobody even remembers google cardboard now. you need proper sensors for this to work, not a cheap phone's sensors which will make you dizzy. neither google nor this is actually serious. proper VR will take more than putting two LCDs in front if you.

I remember this being done back in 08, if I'm not mistaken, it was an Iranian programmer who simply ground up his own optics and stuck them in a styro box along with his phone. It was at the simplicity expo in LA that shows up and coming cell tech (on the lesser scale). I wonder if he's gonna take a stab at this..

Yeah. Sure. Because John Carmack is some kind of ###### who cares about nothing but money. Maybe your comment would have been semi-funny if it was about a piece of crap person or company known to ruin little folks' personal life, business or institution.

audioman said,
Yeah. Sure. Because John Carmack is some kind of ###### who cares about nothing but money. Maybe your comment would have been semi-funny if it was about a piece of crap person or company known to ruin little folks' personal life, business or institution.

I think I hear Facebook readying it's lawyers... :p

audioman said,
Yeah. Sure. Because John Carmack is some kind of ###### who cares about nothing but money. Maybe your comment would have been semi-funny if it was about a piece of crap person or company known to ruin little folks' personal life, business or institution.

You mean like microsoft?