One of the most popular virtual reality headsets on the market is the low-cost Google Cardboard. Hate it or love it, Google’s VR Cardboards (a.k.a. VR viewers) have been sold in millions and right now — with a custom branded design — they are the best way to extend the reach of any virtual reality experience. But these VR goggles do come with some potential issues. One of the biggest is double vision that can cause eye strain or even headaches. Double vision is usually a sign of a mismatching IPD (interpupillary distance) and the distance between Google Cardboard’s lenses.
What is “interpupillary distance”?
On Wikipedia interpupillary distance (IPD) is defined as “the distance between the center of the pupils of the two eyes.” IPD is critical for the design of binocular viewing systems, where both eye pupils need to be positioned within the exit pupils of the viewing system. These viewing systems include binocular microscopes, night vision devices or goggles (NVGs), and head-mounted displays (HMDs).
How to measure interpupillary distance.
Research show that the average male IPD is 64.7 millimeters and the average female IPD is 62.3 millimeters. Although this can be a good initial setup, most people would have a better experience if the IPD of the lenses could be adjusted specifically for the IPD of their eyes.
Mismatching IPD causes double vision
As mentioned before, double vision is usually a sign of a mismatched IPD. Because Google Cardboard works with smartphones that have larger and smaller screens, the lenses can’t always be properly aligned with the centers of the screen for the left and the right eye. It is the same for any other mobile virtual reality headset that works with mobile phones of different screen sizes. Double vision may go away by forcing the brain to “readjust” the images while they are being processed in your head, but this can cause strain and fatigue.
Google tried to solve this with QR codes
When Google launched their VR cardboards they knew about this issue and tried solving it with special QR codes, that can be used to calibrate VR apps to work with a specific smartphone and Google Cardboard. While in theory this was an okay solution, it turns out that in practice it is not that useful. Some VR app developers forget to enable the option to scan these QR codes within the apps. The biggest problem is that people simply don’t know what these QR codes are and how to use them.
We conducted our own research with companies that ordered custom printed VR headsets in the past. The sample was made of our own clients and clients of our competitors. We asked them: “Do you know how to use manufacturer’s QR code to calibrate a smartphone for the VR headset that you ordered?” To see the results of the survey VISIT THE ORIGINAL POST.
ViarBox now lets you adjust IPD specifically for your eyes
When we set out to create a “better Google Cardboard” we wanted to get rid of the problematic QR codes and let everyone set the IPD of the lenses to the most comfortable distance for them. We weren’t allowed to increase the costs of producing such headsets, as they would lose their low-price appeal. We also needed the goggles to be foldable so the costs of the shipping will be as low as possible. After a couple of weeks of development and trying out different prototypes we finally found the perfect solution.
Custom branded VR goggles
By pulling the side handles on the ViarBox VR Cardboards the user can now manually adjust the distance between the lenses to align them with her own interpupillary distance. If your eyes are closer together just push the handles in. If your eyes are further apart pull the handles outwards. When you are viewing a VR experience with your smartphone in the VR headset we recommend doing some micro adjustments to adjust also for the screen size of your smartphone.
Do you want to try it out yourself?
We set out to improve the world of virtual reality. By letting users of ViarBox’s custom printed “Google Cardboards” adjust the positioning of the lenses to their preferences, we helped our clients get better results with their virtual reality campaigns. If you are interested in ordering your own custom branded VR viewers click here to get in contact with us. If you want to try them out first you can always order some samples first.