Even though some may cringe at the thought of the highly anticipated, $600 Oculus Rift being dissected instead of enjoyed, you have to hand it to the folks over at iFixit for giving this season’s hottest tech gadget the teardown treatment. Today, we’re give some insight into how relatively easy it is to repair the device should you manage to drop it during dizzying gaming matches and would rather take your chances with a a screwdriver and a spudger than send it off for repair.
Getting inside the Rift is surprisingly easy, starting with the thick foam frame that sits against your face. It’s held in place with clips instead of screws, which aids in the quick removal process. With the padding out of the way, the iFixit crew turned their attention to the earphones, which are easily removed via a flathead barrel nut.
So far, so good. From here, attention shifted to plastic frame that surrounds the Rift’s lenses. As iFixit explains, inside the plastic frame you’ll find a “dustproof fabric [that] cleverly protects the Oculus' innards, while still allowing the adjustable lenses some freedom to move.” The frame is secured via interior clips that are well hidden; so hidden in fact that the teardown team was initially stumped on how to remove it.
With the frame out the way, pulling off the main housing is a simple affair and also exposes the asymmetric Fresnel lenses, which allows users to easily adjust focus by “pushing it higher or lower on your face.” This setup does away with the three sets of lenses that were included with earlier developmental units of the Rift. Simpler design, easier adjustability for the end-user, and likely reduced manufacturing costs sound like a win-win-win in our book.
With the main housing off, you can also easily access the tiny motherboard, and dual OLED displays, both of which are 90mm2, that are mounted to the lenses. There are plenty of tiny ribbon cables that connecting the dual display to the motherboard, but it’s not an impossible task to remove them. There’s also some difficulty with the spring-loaded headband, which was deemed to be a “possible point of failure” and the headband strap, which has to be cut in order to be replaced.
Overall, there are some challenges to taking apart the Oculus Rift, but the iFixit team gave it an overall reparability score of 7 out of 10, which ain’t too shabby.