The shelter-in-place orders turning into an extended corona-cation have unleashed all manner of car-related time-fillers, from coloring book pages to a four-hour drive through the Australian countryside in an Audi. Volkswagen’s just released an addition to the games library, but one that will be useful long after the current state of the world is past us. These do-it-yourself virtual reality goggles, for those out there with kids, can be just as interesting to make as the content the goggles open up. VW provides the template and instructions from start to finish, the prize being a chance to watch six VR videos detailing the manufacture of the ID.3 electric hatchback. Whether or not you start there, though, YouTube brims with enough VR content to get you to the end of quarantine, no matter when that is.
Depending on your skill at being a maker, the toughest bit will be creating the water-filled biconvex lenses from a plastic bottle to make the goggles usable. We find VW’s instructions slightly challenging, YouTube videos like this one demonstrate the process clearly. The ingredients for this part also call for either a plastic straw or a syringe for filling the lens with water. If you try to do it with a straw, the tiny red stir straws found at gas station coffee stands — the flat ones or the round ones — would be the best bet. Amazon sells syringes with needles for a few dollars, though, or if you know anyone who uses insulin. …
Everything else is common: scissors, Xacto knife or similar, super glue or epoxy, printer, a pizza or shoe box, downloadable goggle frame template, a rubber band, and a smartphone. When you’re finished watching the VW ID.3 get built literally in front of your eyes, from welding a side section to installing the interior, you can get a helmet-level view of a Formula 1 race, watch car crashes, tour the cosmos, launch off a carrier deck, and hang out with oh so many dinosaurs.
We have quite a few VR videos in the Autoblog back catalog as well. Here are a few: