As much fun as it can be to break open a brand new piece of technology to see how it works and how it’s put together, when you’re talking about something as expensive as an Oculus Rift CV1 headset, that can be a little nerve racking. Fortunately the chaps over at iFixit were more than happy to do it with theirs, so we can take a look at their teardown to get all the inside info.
Before breaking open the commercial VR headset, iFixit notes that this version feels like the “sleekest Rift yet,” and is lightweight and very comfortable. Oculus and Facebook have clearly taken the time to improve the form of the product, as well as it’s function, over that of the previous DK2 and Crescent Bay developer kits.
Removing the faceplate and headphones requires just a bit of fiddling and the removal of a couple of screws, and the takedown artists suggest that this is a real improvement over many other products which have headphones, which are non-repairable or replaceable in any way.
After removing the Lycra surround for the lenses, it was noted that the display(s) this time around are actually a pair, and are fully attached to the lenses, too. They also all move in tandem as you adjust the inter-pupillary distance (IPD) — the distance between your pupils.
They also spotted a light sensor, thought to work as a proximity detector so that the headset knows when it’s being worn.
Inside the real guts of the headset, iFixit notes how neat the cable management is — certainly a big step up from development kits. There’s also a “hidden” microphone near all the LED sensors — which could be the secretive microphone we’ve heard mention of before.
In terms of the real hardware used in the Rift’s construction, the dual-DSI converter is made by Toshiba, and the USB 3.0 hub controller by Cypress. And there’s an ARM Corex-M0 32 bit RISC core microcontroller in there too, along with 54MB of Winbond flash memory.
One of the more interesting moments came when iFixit took profile shots of the Rift’s fresnel lenses, which are very different from the curved refractors we’ve seen in the past. They’re custom built for the Rift, using traditional fresnel-style concentric prisms, but with a sloping layer on the rear, which allows “the focus to vary along the vertical axis.”
All in all, the whole set-up received an impressive 7/10 repairability rating, which is more than most modern electronics receive. Meanwhile, Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, encouraged iFixit to go deeper:
— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) March 30, 2016