For £199 (or £249 for the larger capacity model), the Oculus Go is a nice little bit of virtual reality (VR) hardware. With decent aesthetics, comfortable form, and an easy to use all-in-one design, it’s no wonder that Oculus has seen decent sales since the headset arrived earlier this year. But that’s not to say improvements can’t be made, and none other than company founder Palmer Luckey has been detailing how he would go about it.
In a recent blog posting Luckey explains the various processes he has gone through to upgrade his Oculus Go, now referring to his headset as the Oculus GoBlack.
Now do remember, Luckey is highly experienced at making and modding VR head-mounted displays (HMDs), so depending on your skill level you may want to avoid slicing, dicing, unscrewing or dipping your headset or its respective parts to find it doesn’t work again.
Luckey has renamed his headset the GoBlack for one very obvious reason: “I am a strong believer in black VR headsets, so going dark was at the top of the upgrade list,” he notes. This is especially important for all the surfaces on the interior of the facial interface, given the critical role they play in controlling contrast and other aberrations.”
With that in mind, he dips the facial interface in polyester dye. The result (above image) turns the light grey original into a rich matte black.
Another adjustment Luckey made was to the weight and battery. The normal Oculus Go comes in at 470g (1.04 lbs), with most of that weight on your face. Luckey has been able to get that down to 280g by moving the battery and playing with the thermal management. He removed the original 2600mAh battery, upgraded it to 3500mAh (for a claimed 3+ hours of life) and resituated it on the top head strap. “It connects through a new magnetic pogo-pin connector I installed, which allows me to easily swap to a new battery pack whenever I want to keep playing,” Luckey comments.
As for the thermal management, Luckey went extreme by installing a new cooling system, saying: “It uses a much shorter and lighter heat pipe to move heat from the SOC into a nearby array of small aluminum [sic] fins that are cooled by the flow of a small micro-blower.”
He’s put quite a lot of work into these new mods, but then again this is Palmer Luckey after all. For further updates on Luckey’s VR experiments, keep reading VRFocus.