02 April 2016

View-Master VR Tactical Harness

After two months holding up my headset like a schlub, today I buckled down, considered the materials at hand, and came up with a better solution. With some Velcro cable ties, a tactical/molle/gun belt, and a random strap, I created the VR Tactical Harness (also known as a headstrap).

Mattell's View-Master VR kit may be the best value in VR headsets for your mobile phone, but it does have some drawbacks compared to pricier options like the Homido or Freefly: most obviously, no headstraps. Holding the thing on your face is fine for bite-size VR sessions, which is mostly what Google Play Store has to offer, but if you want to use it for more than 10 minutes or do anything requiring a keyboard or controller, the lead opera glasses routine gets old fast.

This weekend I've been looking into Trinus VR, an experimental PC-to-phone game streaming system, which finally pushed me to come up with a hands-free option for the View-Master. You'll see Amazon affiliate links throughout, because it so happens that every item I used in this project came from Amazon at one time or another, but you can probably sub some items you have on hand. The Velcro cable ties are the secret sauce, and well worth having around.


Almost any belt would probably work, but the tactical belt is nice because it's well padded and the inside is loop velcro, which will grip better against the cable ties.


1. Thread the double length Velcro ties through the bottom, just inside each hinge, then over the top to either side of the clasp:

You want them rough side out, and make sure there's only a single thickness at top and bottom where they will be pinched when the cover is closed. If your splice is right in the middle on the inside, you should be good.

2. The single cable tie gets threaded through the loop of your adjustable strap, and goes on the very bottom edge of the cover:

Before Velcroing everything shut

After closing the straps
3. Fit the belt around your head and the View-Master. I removed the buckles, and those studded bands (belt keepers) hold the fit. They were already on the belt, but more Velcro ties would also do the job, maybe better.

4. Thread the smaller strap between the doubled-up parts of the belt in the back, so that the slide and "tail" of the strap come out the bottom:

Belt and View-Master are pictured upside down
5. Fiddle. It's kind of a pain to adjust the belt and strap. Here's the whole thing put together:

The hooks on the strap are just there. You can put some jester balls or something on there.

And that's it. One thing I didn't have was any good material to pad out the nosepiece. The top strap picks up a lot of that weight, but it still needs some extra padding. I was thinking maybe one or two 3M Command Strips would work.