Here’s how the consumer Oculus Rift got so much lighter and comfier

Oculus Rift teardown shows off a custom display and “hybrid lenses”

For evidence of how far the Oculus Rift has come, look no further than iFixit’s teardown of the consumer version.

Upon cracking open the high-end VR headset, iFixit discovered a custom display, along with special lenses to make the Oculus more comfortable. It’s a far cry from the Rift’s early days as a crude developer kit literally taped together with off-the-shelf smartphone parts.

The most noteworthy find in the teardown is what iFixit calls a pair of “hybrid Fresnel lenses.” Fresnel lenses use thin arrays of concentric prisms, achieving a large viewing angle and short focal length with far less material than traditional curved lenses. But unlike a typical Fresnel lens, Oculus’ lenses include a sloping layer on their backsides, sort of like a traditional lens. The result is a that’s lighter than previous Rift versions, and that allows users to adjust focus simply by moving the headset higher or lower on the face.

oculuslens

The consumer Oculus Rift also makes use of dual custom OLED displays, instead of just borrowing panels from existing smartphones. Each display has as resolution of 1080-by-1200 and measures 90 mm diagonally, for a density of 456 pixels per inch. That’s more than an iPhone 6s Plus (456 ppi), but less than Samsung’s Galaxy S7 (576 ppi), would normally have to be viewed from at least 8 inches away for individual pixels to be indiscernible. However, the Rift’s lenses make the screen seem farther away, so those pixels are still tough to make out.

Aside from the fancy lenses and custom display, iFixit observed that certain parts of the Oculus Rift are fairly easy to replace, such as the built-in headphones and face pad—good to know if you’re dropping $600 on state-of-the-art VR. The same can’t be said for the Rift’s lenses, displays, and motherboard, so odds are you’ll be sending the headset back if anything goes wrong with those components.

Why this matters: When Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, Oculus explained that the social networking giant’s resources would allow the Rift to have custom parts instead of generic smartphone components. The teardown by iFixit gives a sense of exactly what users are getting from Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition and continued investments.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags OculusVRVR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?