Oculus founder Palmer Luckey modified an Oculus Go VR headset to improve the weight distribution, increase the battery life, and allow for battery swapping. He also changed its “mainstream-friendly gray” to a matte black. He posted a list of instructions for this modification on his personal blog.
Luckey explained the change from gray to black was mainly for the facial interface, so that less light would reflect off it. He claims that it reduces “god rays” — internal reflections seen as distracting visual artifacts in VR. Oculus Go’s new lenses already have greatly reduced god rays compared to the Oculus Rift, so we’re very curious to see them with a black facial interface.
Luckey also completely changed the battery and cooling system. The Oculus Go normally weighs just over 400g. Luckey claims that his modifications have gotten it down to 280g by removing the original 2600mAh battery built into the Go and replacing it with a bigger 3500mAh cell attached to the top strap. The new battery connects to the top of the headset by a wire with a magnetic pogo-pin connector. Not only does this remove weight from the frontbox, but it also allows for swapping the battery to eliminate the need to wait for recharging.
He also removed the existing passive cooling heatpipe of the Go and replaced it with a shorter and lighter one connected to aluminium fins which are cooled by a small fan. Luckey also replaced the aluminium frontplate of the headset with a tinted plastic, saving even more weight.
In the blog post, Luckey also showed off another creation: a keyboard with a custom Windows 10 PC built inside it. This mini PC runs Virtual Desktop mobile’s streamer software. When combined with an Oculus Go, this means it can be used as a laptop replacement.