Picture of DIY Google Glass AKA the

Monocular head mounted display. I've got my beady eye on you.............................................................................................................

In 2009 I posted an Instructable on how to make a pair of glasses with a head up display to one eye, using a pair of Olympus Eye-Trek video glasses.

My reason for these projects is that I believe wearable displays will become very useful in hospital medicine, particularly anesthesiology.

UPDATE June 2014: Updated much smaller more compact version due very soon with 3D printed shell.

Since then there has been a lot of interest recently due to the current Google Glass project, which puts a head up display in front of one eye in a very neat package resembling a pair of glasses with nose-piece, top frame across over eyes, but no lenses or lens-frames.

Funnily enough monocular displays are much more expensive than binocular ones despite only having the one display as they are perceived as semi-professional devices. The military use rugged versions and also there is a big push to bring them into medical applications.

This is my attempt to make a much better version than last time, somewhat inspired by the Steve Mann Eye-Tap project and also inspired by Martin Magni who has previously hacked the video glasses I intended to use. Specifically the aims this time are:

a) Not built into a pair of glasses. Instead we have a nose-bridge to locate one end, then a springy strap runs around the back of the head to a small pad under the ear on opposite side. This arrangement is inspired by a recent concept version of the Eye-Tap (which also originally used a glasses type frame).
b) Several DIY projects out there hack a display from one side of a pair of video glasses then mount it in an arm on a glasses frame in some way, often with a lot of experimentation required to get the correct alignment with the eye. In this project, I simply keep the factory alignment of one side of the video glasses I have used.
c) As small as possible: Most video glasses blot out all forward view and light entering from above and below. I want the exact opposite, I want to wear these while doing other things, so I want to see with one eye, and with the "video" eye also be able to see in stereo if I look up or down.

Although the display looks very close to my eye, I can easily see what I am doing in stereo if I look down normally (not all the way down, just glance downwards is enough). This is the advantage of the very slim display.

Many video glasses because they are wide and block out light, can tend to have a flat circuit board running the full width of the part in front of the face. This makes hacking them to make a one-eye display not impossible but tricky.
The Myvu-Crystal glasses are great as they are essentially two displays, with a separate cable to each side, linked in centre over the nose. The quality is pretty good and yet each display is physically very small.

I have a 3D printer and original plan was to remove the electronics of the display units and embed one in a printed structure over my eye. However the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the Myvu-Crystal eyepieces look pretty good anyway, and certainly better than anything I could design and print.

The springy band around the back of the head is actually from a gaming headset which comes with a springy band with a pad on the end, a single headphone, and a small boom microphone.

With some hacking I joined the two together and made a really neat very comfortable minimalist monocular head mounted display.

Also, it comes with an i-Phone / i-Pad / i-PodTouch connector so I can download movies or TV programmes from for example BBC iPlayer, onto an i-PodTouch in my pocket and watch them on the move. If they come out with any decent augmented reality apps in the future, I can use them. Otherwise I will stick to watching films and TV.

Obviously this also might interest the wearable computing community too. Took about 3 hours to do which is vastly less than my first attempt in 2009.

What you need:

Myvu Crystal video glasses or something similar ideally with an iPodTouch / iPad type connection option:

A basic gaming headset, the sort with only one headphone on one side and a pad on the other side.

Dremel with a cutting disk or something similar.

Epoxy glue or a glue gun.

Optionally a very small nut and bolt

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Uk-Draken5 months ago

I happen to have two pairs of MyVu glasses with all leads and cables I never use. Going cheap if anyone's interested, let me know.

I'd be interested and I was wondering if you can only view video/movie playback on the myvu or if it actually replaces the display screen of your phone. in other words can you navigate the actual phone using it or can you only play videos. I was wondering if you could simultaneously run a borescope camera to replace the phone camera and run some augmented reality apps
An interesting thought. The glasses don't care where the video comes from so with a little technical knowledge i don't see why you shouldn't be able to do this.

If you still have them how much do you want for them? If you jail break your deivce it should be simple to do display out of any app.

The glasses completely replace the screen of whatever device you plug them into giving you the view from your iPad or phone or gaming console as if on a 60" TV screen viewed from a distance of about 6 feet floating in front of your eyes. As to power; They draw their OWN power from a small battery-pod, charged from any USB-port. They come with leads and connectors for a wide range of phones or other video input. VCA, RCA, RGB-Phono jacks of various diameter. The company obviously put some thought into these things.

Name your price, i'll take one if the offer still stands

Ok. Sorry for the delay. I found all the leads and bits and pieces so if you're still interested you be able to connect to absolutely any device you wish. Easier to contact me directly are on my gmail address. please let me know if you are still interested as there are other people asking for them as well but you were the first so it only seems fair to give you the first refusal.
Best wishes; Draken.
Juiceguy9 months ago

I want to fly FPV model using "Dynamic Video Glasses" that are powered from a 30 pin Apple plug. Unfortunately I have an IPad min that uses a lightning connector.

Is there any way to drive these glasses (Mini USB) from RCA phono plug jacks so I can switch inputs between my IPad and a composite video downlink?

Right now the only way the glasses work is when I plug the 30 pin connector into an old IPad. I have bought every connector and adapter I could find, but nothing works.

I am guessing it is the power lead that is missing.

See above comment on the MyVu power-supply. Independent of the device driving the video-feed. :)

This may be completely out of your area of knowledge, but I can see that you clearly are very interested in these things. I'm trying to create a HUD for delivering a very small amount data. To be exact, a 4 digit number. Therefore, deconstructing a commercial device is a bit silly for me. I have my 4 digits of data being displayed on a 7 segment bubble display powered by 3.3v Arduino. The problem I have is that I cannot focus on this display any closer than 300mm from my eye. I need to mount it at about 85mm. I'm trying to decide what kind of lens or prism to use and where to source it. Any ideas?

Just wanted to respond with some ideas. You may be able to find a broken VHS camcorder to salvage the eyepiece or salvage the prism and lenses from an old SLR camera. Check the thrift shops, ask around, Freecycle, Craigslist, etc. I love it when people re-purpose old tech. Keep it out of the landfill.

Uk-Draken kedwa304 months ago

Damn right, my friend! Cyber-Punk. Re-purpose and re-evolve it. Let's bring William Gibson's world a little closer. :)

See my comments on the MyVu glasses. Screens and prisms are designed for a focal distance of roughly the distance you're talking about. The screens are of such good quality, using them for just a four-digit number would be a bit of a waste, but they'll do it. (And your needs may change as your designs evolve?).

amark7375 months ago

How can the focus of this be adjusted ?

Juiceguy9 months ago

I want to fly FPV model using "Dynamic Video Glasses" that are powered from a 30 pin Apple plug. Unfortunately I have an IPad min that uses a lightning connector.

Is there any way to drive these glasses (Mini USB) from RCA phono plug jacks so I can switch inputs between my IPad and a composite video downlink?

Right now the only way the glasses work is when I plug the 30 pin connector into an old IPad. I have bought every connector and adapter I could find, but nothing works.

I am guessing it is the power lead that is missing.

m1192011 months ago
im not sure if anyone has mentioned but, couldnt you use the spy gear camera glasses for the camera feature. Dissasemble the video glasses and place it on the camera glasses?
donfrench2 years ago
This is nice but I want something a bit different and maybe someone reading this knows if it already exists. I watch streaming movies while I use the treadmill and stationary bike at the gym and would like a way to mount my cell phone so that it is about 12 inches in front of my eyes. It would be nice if the phone could flip up but if it is mounted a couple inches off-center that might work too. Does this exist or do I have to design one of my own?
XenonJohn (author)  donfrench1 year ago
I knew I had seen a baseball cap with a mega-brim. The Thompson Twins from the 80's.!

Nearly 12 inches in front of your face.

XenonJohn (author)  donfrench2 years ago
I think there is an Apple patent filed for a baseball cap with a clip for your iphone on the brim, although the brim does not stick out as far as you require!
acuchetto1 year ago
Isn't this bad for your eyes? (Really, how can it NOT be?)
XenonJohn (author)  acuchetto1 year ago
Your brain adapts after a while and you start to see everything normally around you with the video image overlaid on one part of your left eye view. The brain is an amazing thing that adapts to the world around it, think of that experiment where volunteers wore glasses all the time for 2 weeks that inverted the image to both eyes. After a while they could walk around and do things normally as before.....until they took them off at the end of the experiment.
The eyepiece is set to "far" focus so you do not have to keeping looking close up and then far away, just far away all the time. Therefore probably not as bad for your eyes as you might think.

CD_tatro1 year ago
I noticed in your last hmd you said you had a camera hooked up to this I was wondering if this mod had a camera also and can would it be able to work with a smaller camera like the kind you find in those spy pen? I want to make one of these for soldering for some reason and I want to put a zooming camera on it..
XenonJohn (author)  CD_tatro1 year ago
The Myvu comes with several input leads including the white/red/yellow ones where the yellow plug is the video in and the white/red are R/L audio. This works with security cameras. I used a really cheap wireless security camera last time, a modern wired one that has a cable with a yellow plug on the end should work. I like the idea of a "solder-cam" it might be better than one of those magnifying glass-lamps I currently use.
confi1 year ago
Hi XenonJohn

By plugin wrongly the polarity into the pendant of Myvu, i burnt a regilator on the motherboard.
here are the photos showing the burnt regulator : rond.jpg

And according to what you see, do you think it is fixable?
If so, in order to remplace it, could tell me which is the value of this component.

Thanks very much in advance.

XenonJohn (author)  confi1 year ago
This looks difficult to fix, though maybe not impossible. Other components may also be damaged. Sorry to be rather pessimistic.
techno guy2 years ago
that's cool, do you think this could be incorporated into a daft punk helmet so that it could also be a really cool looking heads up display? Also would it be possible to use this on a laptop instead of an ipod or iphone?
XenonJohn (author)  techno guy2 years ago
Yes probably.

They come with lots of leads including a simple RCA set with the yellow (video) red(R audio) and white(L audio) plugs for DVD players etc. If your laptop has yellow video out socket (some older laptops did have them) you could do it, else might have to buy an adapter. If you surf the web there are people who have connected video glasses to the raspberry Pi for example. The wearable computing community also have lots of knowledge of what works and does not work.
Where can one find this "wearable computing community?"
XenonJohn (author)  vader4061 year ago
I tend to use Google myself:
Raspberry Pi supports output from hdmi, and I think input from usb as well, just disassemble a webcam and mount it to the helmet somewhere to get a realtime viewfeed, run it into the Pi, write a simple code to make your hud (people have done projects like this already, so you could edit their work) and then output to the video glasses. You may be able to get cool things like rotating minimap or live music visualizer that responds to the music around you, since the Pi can run debian!
I think arduino can output to hdmi, but to get input from the webcam and then output to the glasses would require stacking multiple shields or assembling your own, and that would be difficult.
jj.inc2 years ago
Very cool, now you need to design a voice controlled app that does what google glass can, or at least close.
I would use Siri.
Dr. dB2 years ago

Did you ever see the 1994 TV series "Earth 2"? (...GREAT show, somewhat-short-lived - only 21 or 22 episodes ...starred Deb Farentino, Clancy Brown and the ever-stunning Rebecca Gayheart...) This 'ible and others is/are getting very close to that show's audio/visual communications props (...simply referred to as "Gear" in the script...).

About as close to telepathy as (externally-mounted) technology is likely to get!
donfrench2 years ago
A baseball hat is a nice solution. I was thinking about something more like glasses. I wanted the longer distance because that is where my eyes focus without glasses but I might manage if I wear my glasses while I work out. I might just try making something.
XenonJohn (author)  donfrench2 years ago
Here is a clip to hold an iPhone to your baeball cap. Of course with this sort of thing you have to focus your eyes to "near" whereas all the video glasses have an optical trick that means although right next to your eyes, you use "far" focus to view them which is a lot less stressful on your eyes.

asujath20002 years ago
Nice job congratulations I wish you to innovate more project like this
BlkDragon962 years ago
Jailbreak and you can have video out for all iOS apps, not just ones that support video playback:

would you sell a pair? i dont have the resources and equipment to do it myself :(
Would it really be a "pair"?
Maker17212 years ago
so it shows the ipod touch screen? and how do you control it?
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