Jan 27, 2016

VR cycling setup created for just $40

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, virtual reality

A cheaper way for VR wear for consumers; are consumers potentially being ripped off?

The Oculus Rift finally went on sale, but that $600 price tag is a bit too steep for some to justify. Fortunately, VR doesn’t have to be expensive. Take this virtual reality cycling rig that someone created for $40.

It’s the work of Paul Yan, who’s the animation director at Toys for Bob — the studio that developed Skylanders and kicked off the toys-to-life revolution. He previously figured out how to build an “Arduino thing” that could talk to a smartphone via Bluetooth LE and he wanted to put his contraption to good use.

He whipped up a cityscape in Unity, set his mountain bike up on an indoor trainer, and marked the rear tire with a small piece of paper. The Arduino tracks pedaling speed by keeping tabs on how long it takes the paper to make a revolution, and it relays that information back to the phone, which is then clipped into a VR headset. The phone tells the virtual bike to keep pace: pedal faster, and the street scene moves by more quickly. If you’d rather cruise around the neighborhood, pedal more slowly.

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