KMart Virtual Reality Goggles

KMart $15 Virtual Reality Goggles Review

If you’ve been following the state of virtual reality technology of late, you’ve likely heard of or even used Google Cardboard. Google Cardboard was a precut cardboard fold up VR headset that cost less than $30 and used your mobile phone. Since that came out different companies have produced fully manufactured plastic units similar.

In their most recent catalogue KMart Australia started selling $15 Virtual Reality Goggles using the same design and technology as Google Cardboard. This kit is made of injection molded plastic with comfort foam and adjustable fabric straps to hold it on your head.

KMart Virtual Reality Goggles
KMart Virtual Reality Goggles

The lenses are larger than those in many similar Google Cardboard based headset, which leads to a larger, better field of view. The headset is quite comfortable and lightweight, even with my phone, an Apple iPhone 6, inside.

KMart Virtual Reality Goggles and the box the come in
KMart Virtual Reality Goggles and the box the come in

The virtual reality effect is quite impressive. A rollercoaster app makes you feel like you’re really moving around. Full 180 degree 3D dome videos look impressive. It is quite low resolution and dotty however as the mobile phone’s screen is being spread across your full field of vision.

Looking into the goggles
Looking into the goggles

The unit has a bottom magnet slider which can be used to control some apps on some phones. I’ve not found it to work with my iPhone though.

The manual contains links to some apps that can be used, including a Roller Coaster VR app for iOS.

A Note for Android Users

Commenter Darren Ferguson(see comments below), noted that the magnet on the bottom is should be on the side. The magnet works with the Apple iPhone correct(although intermittently). However on many Android phones including the Nexus5 it magnet will turn the phone off. Thanks for the info Darren!

Conclusion

For $15 I’m really impressed with the quality and strongly recommend it. I’ve only tested with an Apple iPhone 6, but Google Cardboard was originally designed for Android phones so should work fine with those too. This unit is a great chance to play with VR at a low cost.

You can find the KMart Virtual Reality Goggles on their website here or visit your local KMart where they’re strangely stored behind a glass cabinet in the Audio Visual section.

I’ve also published a list of some suggested iPhone Virtual Reality apps to try here.

Comparison of my cardboard VR kit to the KMart Virtual Reality Goggles
Comparison of my cardboard VR kit to the KMart Virtual Reality Goggles
  • Darren Ferguson

    Stupid design. The magnet is at the bottom and not the side where it is meant to be. This makes many phones turn off. Including the Nexus5 which was the original Google Cardboard phone.

    • Ah thanks, interesting! I suspect it has been designed mostly with the Apple iPhone in mind. The magnet works intermittently with mine to do what it’s supposed to do.

      I don’t have any Android devices to test with unfortunately.

      • Darren Ferguson

        There’s a bunch of references to the Google side of things in the included slip of paper. All in horrible English if course!

        • What I’d really like to find is figures on the field of view and the like for it. I’ll have to check out some more of the URLs that were on it. It did link to a really good rollercoaster demo.

          Didn’t really expect much for the price, but it has been a cool toy. I would have been disappointed if I had to pay $50-60 for it like some that were on eBay.

  • Richard

    Thx for the post and advice, I managed to get one of the last ones remaining a couple of weeks ago and using on the iPhone6

    I want to calibrate them with Google cardboard, but dont think the QR code on the instruction sheet has this – seems to be a link to the Google Cardboard apk file on the Play store.

    Amazon seem to have this one which looks similar http://www.amazon.com/SUNNYPEAK%C2%AE-Cardboard-Plastic-Virtual-Reality/dp/B00RYRG2CM/

    If you look at the 3rd picture down on the left hand side it has the QR code and comes up with VRG-10700. I tried it, but still seems a bit blurry still sometime (but could be my eyes as well..:-)

    Is that the correct code you think? Or have you tried any other ones that are better?

    Cheers

    R

    • I’m not sure to be honest. It definitely looks like the same headset in your that Amazon listing, but it could potentially be completely different optics. Lots of different Chinese manufacturers will make the same thing but with different specs sometimes.

      I’ve not yet had a chance to play with calibration. So far all the iPhone apps for VR I’ve seen don’t seem to ask for or have anywhere to accept a QR code for calibration. It seems to just be an Android thing, unless I’ve missed it somewhere. I was thinking about using the Google API to make a calibration QR code for this based on measurements though.

  • Tristan

    Any comments on how this set would do with an iPhone 4? As in would it actually fit in and stay in place?

    • Just tried it with an iPhone 4S which is the same size. You have take some care to place it centred vertically in the unit, but thanks to the foam at the back it works fine. It’ll just have less field of view.

      Another issue will be lower processing and graphics speed. Still probably ok for a lot of purposes though.