The Oculus Rift is finally here. While most early customers are busy exploring virtual reality, the repair experts at iFixit have opted to open the headset up instead. We wouldn’t expect anything less, and the teardown reveals some new details.
The consumer-ready headset offers plenty of upgrades over early developer units. For example, the new model sports a pair of specially designed OLED displays offering 456 pixels per inch. That’s a nice upgrade over the previous model, which opted for a repurposed Galaxy Note 3 display. The Oculus Rift is also completely covered in infrared lights, which are invisible to the human eye and make it possible to make a full 360 spin without breaking the virtual reality experience.
The teardown also reveals a hidden microphone. It’s unclear what purpose this component will serve, but in-game chat is a likely possibility. Voice commands could also be a nice way to navigate through virtual reality menus if you don’t already have a controller in your hands.
iFixit notes that the built-in earphones are extremely easy to remove, which is good since their exposed position seems prone to possible damage. The rest of the headset is a little more difficult to open up. The Oculus Rift is protected by a dust-proof stretchy black fabric, which is held in place by some internal clips.
There’s a mess of loose wires to navigate inside but they’re all clearly labeled for reassembly. Oculus also designed its own hybrid lens, which is impressive but non-removable. The design incorporates headband springs for easily removing the headset, but they’re pretty much impossible to take apart.
iFixit gave the Oculus Rift a solid 7 out of 10 for repairability. Not bad for the first high-end VR headset, but we’ll reserve judgment until we see how the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR stack up.