Introduction: VR Monocle (TfCD)

This is a VR Monocle for a 'one-eye' VR experience. With the VR Monocle, we wanted to create a compact VR device in a humorous way. Although the device is only one-eyed we managed to build a working prototype to experience the idea of the VR Monocle.

Today’s VR headsets are still pioneers of the evolving market of virtual reality. All current products are very bulky and can hardly be used on the go. This project explores the working principle of common VR headsets with the aim to design a compact VR device enabling a basic VR experience on the go.

Step 1: Lens Principles

The working principle is similar to normal VR glasses, consisting out of a screen, lenses and a housing to block environmental light. To provide a clear image the focus distance between the lense and the OLED screen in essential. We managed to shortened the focus distance by using two identical lenses behind each other which increase their refraction potential.

Step 2: Components

These are the compontens used in the VR Monocle:

1. Lenses from Google Cardboard or similar (focal point of 45mm) (2pcs)

2. SSD1306 0.96" OLED 128x64 px (Chinese clone)

3. Arduino Nano V3 (Chinese clone)

4. 3D printed components:

- Lens holder

- Base

- Wire cover

- Base cover

5. Electric wire (~4m)

6. Piece of paper

7. Heat shrink (10cm)

8. Header pins (4)

Step 3: Design

The lenses are housed in a telescope cylinder to make the extendable product more compact. The prototype of the compact VR Monocle is able to show a clear image of the integrated 0.96” OLED screen. The screen and the lenses are housed within the main body of the product and connected via wires to an external Arduino Nano. Due to the high refraction of the two lenses only the center 0.96 “ OLED screen can be used.

The prototype is 3D-printed with PLA on an Ultimaker 2+.

Step 4: Coding

The software is coded with the Arduino IDE (downloadable at

You also will have to install the following libraries:

Adafruit GFX

Adafruit SSD1306

The libraries can be installed by downloading the .ZIP files and importing them with the Arduino IDE.

Go to: Sketch > Include Libary > Add .Zip Library. Navigate to the .ZIP file, select it and Open. The library is now added ot the IDE

You can download the example code right here.

Step 5: Optional Stuff

You can improve your VR Monocle by adding a Bluetooth module to your Arduino and connect it to your phone to actually get notifcations on your Monocle.

You can also try to make it out of different materials to make it look nicer.

You can request additional CAD files from us.