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$49 3D Printed VR Headset Lets You Play Virtual Boy Style

3D printed VR

Meet Pockulus CHIP, a 3D printed VR headset that costs only $49. Oh, and this micro PC also plays Ye Olde Virtual Boy games in 3D… seriously.

Prepare yourself for the single most inventive invention since Nintendos Virtual Boy in 1995. It’s a $49 virtual reality headset with 3D printed parts from Oakland-based Next Thing Co. They have creatively dubbed it the Pockulus CHIP.

Trying to repurpose their successfully kickstarted $9 hacker-friendly circuit board, the C.H.I.P., into something special, the Next Thing team had an idea. They told Wired,

“We thought, is there someway we can make light of how funny it is that people strap these things onto their face? Everyone is trying to make this kind of standalone VR style headset. What if we made one with CHIP?” The result was this equal-parts ridiculous and a cool $49 VR headset.

Meet the Virtual Boy… Advance

This is what the future looks like (Image: Next Thing)

The real majesty of the creators can be seen in the video above, where they revive the total dud of a gaming system, the Virtual Boy, a 3D game console from Nintendo that debuted in 1995. Obviously, the graphics weren’t exactly great with a palette of 16 shades of red, the console wasn’t really portable, and with just a few games available, the system fell into total obscurity. Luckily, the folks at Next Thing have a special place in their hearts for the sad Virtual Boy, and their new VR headset comes equipped with some homebrewed Virtual Boy games that are sure to be interesting. Also, the emulator runs the original games of Nintendo‘s Virtual Boy; but be advised that the rights still belong to Nintendo.

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The Pockulus CHIP is, however, not necessarily for the faint of heart. The core is the PocketCHIP, a “motherboard” for the $9 CHIP computer. After you’ve assembled the PocketCHIP, you need to 3D print the VR headset. But, the Pockulus is also pretty special in that it’s very hacker/maker-friendly. The makers have uploaded the 3D printable files to GitHub, meaning anyone with a PocketCHIP (another forward thinking invention from Next Thing) could feasibly print their VR gear.

The PocketCHIP runs on Linux and comes with a QWERTY keyboard, “stunning” 130,560px touchscreen display (their words, not ours), WiFi and storage. Of course, you can run other programs on it.

We dare say this is one step above the Virtual Boy because it involves some fun 3D printing and a lot more hacking and homebrewing. That has to count for something.

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