Like a lot of 16-year-olds, [Maxime Coutée] wanted an Oculus Rift. Unlike a lot of 16-year-olds, [Maxime] and friends [Gabriel] and [Jonas] built one themselves for about a hundred bucks and posted it on GitHub. We’ll admit that at 16 we weren’t throwing around words like quaternions and antiderivatives, so we were duly impressed.
Before you assume this is just a box to put a phone in like a Google Cardboard, take a look at the bill of materials: an Arduino Due, a 2K LCD screen, a Fresnel lens, and an accelerometer/gyro. The team notes that the screen is what will push the price unpredictably, but they got by for about a hundred euro. At the current exchange rate, if you add up all the parts, they went a little over $100, but they were still under $150 assuming you have a 3D printer to print the mechanical parts.
The system uses two custom libraries that you could use even if you wanted a slightly different project. FastVR creates 3D virtual reality using Unity and WRMHL allows Unity to communicate with an Arduino. Both of these are on the team’s GitHub page, as well.
There was one other member of the team, their math teacher [Jerome Dieudonne] who they call [Sensei]. According to [Jerome] he is “… the theoretician of the team. I teach them math and I help them solving algorithm issues.” He must be very proud and we always applaud when someone takes the time to share what they know with students.
We don’t know what’s next for this group, but we will be keeping an eye on them to see what’s next. Maybe they’ll work on smell-o-vision.