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Palmer Luckey shows Oculus how to fix Oculus Go with simple mods

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The Oculus Go is the best standalone VR headset released so far.
The Oculus Go is the best standalone VR headset released so far.

Image: raymond wong/mashable

You can fire him from Facebook and remove him from working on the Oculus VR technology he helped pioneer, but you can’t stop him from letting his inner geek run wild.

Ousted Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey is still very much the same boy who’s obsessed with VR. Case in point: Despite being fired from Oculus, ostensibly for his pro-Trump political views, he’s still finding ways to improve Oculus’s VR headsets, namely the all-in-one Oculus Go.

Since leaving Oculus, Luckey’s taken to his own blog to post reviews, mods, and general thoughts on advancements in current AR and VR technologies.

In his latest blog post, the Luckey shared a detailed look at several modifications he made to the Oculus Go.

While the Oculus Go was lauded for its clean design, simple setup, and high-res display, like many products it’s not without some shortcomings.

The three biggest cons for Luckey are battery life, light leakage, and input. So Luckey did what any tinkerer would do: he fixed them on his own.

Palmer Luckey's "Oculus GoBlack" mod is more than just a black paint job.

Palmer Luckey’s “Oculus GoBlack” mod is more than just a black paint job.

To extend battery life from about two hours to over three, he added a custom battery that attaches magnetically via a pogo pin system. And it’s swappable! Removing the Go’s built-in battery from the headset itself also helped re-balance the headset, distributing weight from being front-heavy to the rest of your head.

Solving the light leakage (particularly from the soft mask) was also another easy mod: just dye it black so the lenses reflect less light into your eyes.

Another mod adds connectivity for a physical keyboard, which can be used in VR to type. (Of course, you’ll need to be a touch typist to benefit from this upgrade.)

Luckey dubs the entire Oculus Go mod the “Oculus GoBlack” edition and we have to admit it’s spiffy, especially the see-through front that exposes all the circuitry.

On the surface it’s just Luckey being his regular ol’ self: a boy modding things together. But read between the lines and he’s clearly trying to show Facebook’s deficiency with hardware. Sure, Mark Zuckerberg may be a huge believer in VR, but he doesn’t get it the way Luckey does. 

Oculus is still on track to release its more advanced standalone VR headset, the Oculus Quest, in early 2019, but I’m now a little worried they might drop the ball on the details — details Luckey maybe could’ve helped spot and improve if he were still with the company.

Firing Luckey was one thing, but most recently Oculus co-founder and former company CEO Brian Iribe also left Facebook.

“So much has happened since the day we founded Oculus in July 2012,” Iribe wrote in a goodbye post on his Facebook page. “I never could have imagined how much we would accomplish and how far we would come. And now, after six incredible years, I am moving on.”

For now, anyone can go and follow Luckey’s instructions to improve their own Oculus Go (warning: it’ll void your headset warranty). But you have to wonder: If Luckey can’t stay away from Oculus and VR, maybe it’s time he started a new VR company.

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