Lightweight Handheld VR


Co-Ambassador Team Lead
Jun 10, 2014
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I came across this at Argos UK, priced at about £4 compared to the normal price of about £15. What attracted me about it is that it has a number of important features not present in all VR sets.

To quote the manufacturer: "Stealth Pocket VR strips away all unnecessary features to provide a simple, effective VR experience that you can take anywhere. Compatible with all smartphones, this viewer is accessible to everyone! The large lenses are independently adjustable, as is focal distance. Side visors block out light from your surroundings. It's effective, sturdy and keeps your phone secure at all times. Transport could not be easier - simply fold away and slip into your pocket!"

All that is largely borne out in use. The construction is of plastic, including the lenses. These are plano-convex, plane surface towards the eyes, with a clear diameter of about 36mm, and a focal length of about 60mm.

The lenses can be moved from side to side to vary the interocular distance: at their closest, the centres are at about 63mm, and at their furthest separation, about 77mm.

Phones from small to large can be accommodated - on the back of the box it says phones from 4" to 6" - and are held in place by the curved piece, which is thick, springy plastic, shown nearest the camera in this rear view:

The phone is pushed up between that and the septum, which divides the left and right images in 3D viewing. When using the viewer, the phone is held, not the viewer.
The spring clip and septum, with phone gripped between them, can be moved back or forth to adjust the focus. There is about 15mm of movement.

Since phone sizes vary, the lens assembly can be moved up and down - that's what the intriguing-looking knob on the top is for - so that the lens centres are always in line with the image centres. There's about 10mm of adjustment.

In use the viewer works well. Despite the open design, any stray light and reflections are not too distracting. The lenses cause colour fringing, most noticeable further out in the field, but I'm guessing that's normal on your average headset or viewer. They look easily removable and replaceable by achromatic doublets by a resourceful handiperson.

There is no magnetic control on the viewer, but the open design allows you to tap the screen with a stylus to select this or that. A BlueTooth controller could presumably be used.

Viewing experience is obviously better with higher-resolution displays, and as you can see, the viewer easily accommodates my largest phone, an LG G4.

The viewer offers an attractive alternative to those who don't much care for headsets. It seems to be available under different brand names, but at any rate, a QR code is available for it.

Note that measurements above are mine, and are approximate.

If you decide to grab one, enjoy! ☺
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