Hands-On: ViveNChill Fan Helps Fight Sweaty Faces and Foggy Lenses

by David Jagneaux • July 18th, 2017

I sweat a lot. If I’m standing outside with the sun up and a little breeze, it’s only a matter of time before I start sweating. Going for a jog? I’ll be pouring with sweat before most people are even breathing heavily. In fact, I often sweat without even the need for my breathing or heart rate to increase. If I’m in VR for more than 10 minutes I’m probably sweating regardless of what the experience is. My hands get sweaty all the time without cause, especially when holding a game controller. It’s just kind of part of who I am and bless my wife for dealing with it.

In that way, the ViveNChill cooling fan for the HTC Vive by RedRotor (currently running an IndieGoGo campaign that’s fully-funded with a little over a week left as of the time of this writing) almost feels like it was made for me. The email subject line we got at UploadVR asked, “Who’s the sweatiest guy at Upload?” as they asked to send us a sample unit to try and I don’t think there was a moment of hesitation before I volunteered myself. And the great part is that this little thing actually works.

The ViveNChill is a dead simple device that is so effective and unnoticeable that I’d be shocked if something like this isn’t naturally integrated into all future VR headset designs. GPUs have cooling fans, why not VR HMDs too?

All you do is thread it into the top head strap, plug it into the USB port on the headset itself, attach the fans and adjust them appropriately, and you’re good to go. Like most people I play with headphones on so I never even heard the fans buzzing despite their location.

They don’t blow a whole lot of air and it’s not very powerful, but that’s a good thing. It’s just enough to get a minor breeze flowing down your face and keeping you cool without distracting. Since the setup is so simple it’s hard not to recommend the ViveNChill.

Additionally, a cool breeze is a known relief for anyone that suffers from nausea or VR sickness, plus it will help prevent your lenses from fogging up. It happens to me with my actual glasses on a daily basis so being able to put a stop to it with my VR headset lenses is a huge boon. My wife actually brings me lens-defogging drops from the hospital she works at for me to use on my headsets. A little fan is a much nicer (and less smelly) solution.

Recommendation: Absolutely

The fact of the matter is that VR is not comfortable right now. The HTC Vive (especially) is quite bulky and smashes against your face when you’re using it. The Vive wands are clunky to hold, the wire tethers you and constantly gets in the way, and it’s just a very early technology that’s still going through its growing pains. VR headsets get extremely stuffy, especially if you’re being active in them, so this feels like a must-have accessory for anyone that suffers from a sweaty face in VR.

You can pledge support to the ViveNChill on IndieGoGo right now. They asked for $5,000 and have raised about $10,000 as of now. The lowest tier that grants you a ViveNChill on launch is $25 or you can buy a 4-pack for $88.

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  • Steve Biegun

    So… what about hair?

    • In the future we don’t need hair. Our avatars have all the hair.

    • Garbagio Dumpsterino

      Yeah, pretty sure my hair is gonna get caught in the fan.

  • Kacey Sherrard

    I mean I get it, but I just have a fan blowing on me in summer/sports clothes and I’m fine, don’t think id be willing to buy and add this to my vive.

    • For me that doesn’t solve headset stuffiness and foggy lenses. Face sweat is a big issue for me.

      • Kacey Sherrard

        yeah it was for me too when i was playing something that was very active, but a standard standing fan directed in the right position solved it for me, though i guess it depends where you live i guess and how hot it is naturally. i live in the UK, though recently we’ve been hotter than Spain some days XD

  • mellott124

    For $25 dollars, it’s worth trying. Even if it sits in my drawer afterwards.

  • NooYawker

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I love her.
    But still not going to pledge or buy this product.

  • koenshaku

    I’d buy one if she delivered it =)

  • Really that little flow of air can prevent you from sweating while playing robo recall?

    • If you play long enough and intensely enough you’re gonna sweat regardless but this still made a big difference for me.

  • David Melton

    This should be bundled with Gorn

  • AngryBadger

    I just worry about it taking up the extra usb slot, if some other device that gives more immersion comes along (some other vr accessory). I will use a standing fan for now.

  • Deleted Smith

    Idea is good but right from the start I noticed the whole body can get hot just not your head. I took 2 simple box fans and put them on both sides of the room and run them on med when I play. I also chill down the room a little bit before I play. The surprise was I can feel the air in game and I know that when it is hitting me in the front I am turned away from the sensors. It works very well to orient your self to the sensors and does not wreck the VR experience at all. My biggest wish would be for the cord to be cut as that wrecks the experience more than anything else. I get tangled up in it and that does remind me I am playing a game.

  • polysix

    This mofo is turning into one hell of a frankenstein HMD.

    So glad I sold mine back when it was worth £1200 on ebay. Bought rift on offer recently and couldn’t be happier (all round). Not one thing did I prefer on vive over rift. Rift is awesome to use, comfy, ergonomic, sexy, better looking (both as an object and IN VR with lenses/screens).

    I was an early Vive fan and facebook hater. I’ve reformed. Thank god.