This post is coming to you live from Maker Faire Trondheim being held in the town square here in Trondheim, Norway, all weekend.
What happens when you mix a “Google Cardboard” style viewer—called LINS, Swedish for lens—along with a Go Pro spherical camera mount? Well something like this, I talked to Erik Thorstensson—from Creatables in Göteborg—who was here showing off a prototype viewer created by student Alexander Osika.
Erik Thorstensson talking and the story behind the “Google Cardboard”-style viewer
Afterwards I followed up with Alexander about the project,
How did you get started?
My brother Anton Osika and I started this project earlier this summer by first 3D-printing some of the cool Open Source designs for a virtual reality headset from OpenDive. After seeing the potential the technology had, we started making prototypes out of cardboard, and we felt that we were on the right track when Google announced their project Cardboard, which was very similar to what we had in mind. But we also saw how a lot of people saw the Cardboard more like a joke than a real product, and realized that for this to become commercial, we probably would have to make it in plastic.
What was the driver behind the project?
We also wanted to take advantage of the fact that you always have your smartphone with you, and that a virtual reality headset should not be so bulky and fragile that you just can’t take it with you. We had just started prototyping in polypropylene plastic sheets, with die cutting as the expected way of manufacturing, when we came in contact with Creatables and got a lot of great support and advice.
How far have you got with the prototype?
The prototypes we have now is looking very promising; the design is foldable and takes almost no space at all, takes only seconds to set up for usage with your smartphone, is very durable and will have a manufacturing price almost as low as a Cardboard-version.
Where are you heading with the project?
We really hope that this product will help virtual reality technology being both cheaper and more accessible, as we strongly believe in both virtual and augmented reality having a big role in the future of technology. This is also why there has been no question that this will be an Open Source design, and we hope that the first distributors will be science centers having “build your own”-workshops.
The Trondheim Maker Faire is a two day faire being held in the Trondheim town square. It opened yesterday, and is open again today between 10am and 4pm. It is free to attend.