Tag Archive: MRG2.2

Mnemonic’s MRG2.2 Upgrade – Augmented Reality + Kinect

Several months ago I shipped off an MRG2.2 to Mnemonic in the Ukraine. He said he wanted to do a few mods and some experimenting. Little did I know that he would put together a totally sweet augmented reality system, where the view inside the VR helmet combined the real world outside the helmet with computer generated interactive 3D objects. Interaction comes through a gyroscopic head tracker AND a Microsoft Kinect. I’ll let the video and the photos explain further:

and here’s what the modified MRG2.2 looks like from the inside and outside:

The Kinect is enabled through FAAST software from the University of Southern California MxR.


Liquid Image MRG2.2 Disassembly and Potential Upgrades

I’ve gotten a ton of emails hurled at me about the Liquid Image MRG2.2 VR helmet. The gist of most of them is: “Hey, I love the wide field of view and how rugged the MRG2.2 is, but I wish I could upgrade the LCD resolution, and, is there a way to make this HMD stereoscopic?”

It’s time to hurl the challenge back at you. These two videos explain in detail how to tear down an MRG2.2, what each of the components are, how they interconnect, and suggestions for how this puppy could be upgraded. If that’s not enough, head over to the V-Rtifacts store for a FREE download of all the technical info on the Sharp LCD, backlight, and all the MRG2.2 cable and connector pin outs.

There ain’t no doubt that the LCD resolution can be upgraded, but the challenge is to see who can do it the most cost effectively. Stereoscopic viewing? The video suggests some possible approaches, but they’re untried as far as I know.

Part 1

Part 2

Typical desktop magnifier, similar to what's used in the MRG2.2

As you might have already guessed, my attorneys from Itchy & Twitchy, Esq. want you to know that disassembling and modifying electronics and power supplies can be dangerous and even life threatening. Don’t mess with this stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thanks to Itchy and Twitchy, you really shouldn’t mess with this stuff, even if you do know what you’re doing. If you zap yourself, it’s not my fault; you were warned. And… don’t rub that thing, you could go blind!

6 lbs. 12 oz. – It’s a Baby Headmount! – Liquid Image MRG2

The product slick offers a virtually indestructible carry case. I’m not completely sure why, as the Liquid Image MRG2 helmet shell, constructed of multi-layer fiberglass, was non-virtually (i.e. real-world) indestructible. The MRG2 was actually quite clever, inasmuch as it could be manufactured with about $200 of tools. No fancy injection molds or custom optics. Although monoscopic, it incorporated a 5″ Sharp LCD with a rectangular reading magnifier set inside ordinary rubber welder’s goggles. The MRG2 had a very wide field of view: 84 deg. horizontal.


Although it sometimes felt like one was wearing a TV set, the MRG2 was popular for public-access (i.e. arcades, trade shows, etc…) virtual reality installations. They remain popular whenever one shows up on Ebay.