Ideas for the Future
Here are a few other brainstorms that occurred to us along the way, which we might try to implement in the future:
A ridiculously big one
Here's a total flight of fancy: a 'scope the size of a football stadium. (Click for a perspective view.) You could use it to look at cities, mountains, or clouds! Slightly impractical though, since the mirrors would have to be more precise than the Hubble space telescope.
A more reasonable big one
Bringing the mirrors down to a more reasonable size, we could still get a separation of 20 or 30 feet, a good 100 times your normal interocular distance. This might actually work! The downside of this design is that the direction is fixed, so it would have to be aimed at something known to look interesting.
A little head-mounted one
Lightweight, portable! Ride your bike around town with it! (Do not ride your bike around town with it.) We got very close to finishing one of these, but ran out of time just before Burning Man.
An adjustable one
A number of people have suggested designing one where you could adjust the distance between your eyes. The effect could be really startling if done right! The trick would be to completely prevent wiggling of the mirrors during the adjustment process. Some kind of helical gear to slide them in and out might work. Alternately, the mirrors could be put at the ends of beams that could rotate them in and out. (It ought to be possible to do something clever and adjust the angles of the mirrors while this happens.)
Using lenses as well as mirrors
With proper use of lenses, it ought to be possible to get better distances without having to use large mirrors. The tradeoff is that the light path would then have to be kept perfectly straight. I don't know how such a design would affect the viewer's experience, but it's worth trying.