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spaceout

Head mounted display?

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I was wondering if anybody knew of a way to build a 3-d head mounted display that doesnt cost $1000 like the ones that you can buy commercially? I have been wanting to play around with VRML for a while now and I wanted a HMD that wasn't ungodly expensive. It would also be kind of cool to have for playing 3-d shooters with a supporting graphics card in true 3-d.

-spaceout

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I have one.

hmd.jpg

That's me ^_^

Now the cheapest ones I could find were from MP3Playerstore on eBay. (Search eBay for "Innovatek HMD"). They sell for roughly $70. The resolution I think is 320x240. Includes a battery pack.

Is it worth it? Well - not really for shooters. The low end HMDs require TV inputs; and the colours get skewed from the transition of the PC graphics to TV-Out to the HMD. Not only that, but the resolution for cheap HMDs are really low - for something with 800x600 you're looking at an expense in the multiple hundreds of dollars.

That said I tried the HMD with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Low resolution + off-colours meant that it was rather difficult to discern... well... anything. I played for 5 minutes and ultimately gave up.

For movies, these things work really well. I use a media-center like application to navigate around my movies, TV, music and so forth. You need things with large font when you use an HMD like this.

I tried the whole with a Cygwin terminal. Because I had to boost the font-size so high in order for the terminal text to be readable, anything on ncurse is virtually unusable.

In the fun department, I hooked up the thing to the TV out of my digital camera, so I could see the infrared band. Make-shift nightvision goggles. Fun, but short-lived at the same time.

In essence: you get what you pay for.

Edited by Seal
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Thanks for the info, I will definitly wait until they come down in price or see if I can find a way to build my own.

-spaceout

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Thanks for the info, I will definitly wait until they come down in price or see if I can find a way to build my own.

-spaceout

Just my opinion - but I don't think that they will come down in price. HMDs haven't caught on with the general public [nor is there any inclination that they ever will], and as such retain their novelty status. As novelties, they will retain their high price points as they've done for the last 8 years. I remember Olympus/Sony tried selling HMDs to the masses, but it never sold well and both major production lines were discontinued.

Building your own is possible, but the parts themselves (2xmicro LCDs) are prohibitively expensive. Not to mention the electronics expertise required in the assembly.

I suppose the moral is that what you see now is pretty much going to be what you'll see in the market a few years from now. The prices won't come down. So might as well save up your dough if you want one :P

Edited by Seal
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I've always been interested in these things.

Does anyone know what that eyepiece (please dont slaughter me for mentioning this film) that Dade Murphy wears in the movie Hackers?

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I have one.

It looks so bad-ass! I think I'll get one to give it a try.

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Actually, as far as cost goes for building my own HMD, the LCDs would be fairly inexpensive. I found some 1 inch 640x480 LCD panels for like $20 each. I would have to look and see if I could find them again. I lack in the electronics expertise, but I am a fast learner and could probably do a good share of the work if I had someone to tell me what I needed to do. I think it would be a fun project to try and make happen.

-spaceout

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