New technology always seems to cost a fortune to buy. Just look at anything released from Apple, and you get the picture. Google is apparently on the same bandwagon with their ‘unofficially released but on the market anyway’ AR head set Google Glass. $1,500 for limited functionality eyewear is preposterous, illogical and ridiculous, unless you actually have that kind of money to spend. To that end, Arvind Sanjeev decided to design a more consumer-friendly AR/VR headset that will set you back less than $80 and even includes a fashionable cap.
Arvind designed his ‘Smart Cap’ using the Raspberry Pi (model B), which does all of the heavy lifting (processing) and data crunching from the forward-mounted IBall USB camera and generic headphones (complete with mic). The camera pumps the video to a 2.5-inch LCD display positioned next to the wearer’s left eye. A loupe magnifier magnifies the image to 5X its size, allowing the user to ‘take in the whole picture’. The system uses voice-activated commands for hands-free interaction while running applications such as maps, checking email and taking secretive video of your surroundings (provided you didn’t draw attention to yourself wearing the Smart Cap). Off-the-shelf parts were used to construct the headgear, which is significantly cheaper than Google Glass, yet no less conspicuous at making you stand out in a crowd.
See Arvind’s Smart Cap at Hack-a-day’s project database.