When it comes to virtual reality headsets, there is no denying that the HTC Vive is the premier choice. Still, that premier experience comes at the cost of a sweaty headset. RedRotor plans to cool things off with the release of the ViveNchill.
RedRotor, known for specializing in drone components and accessories, has built a prototype product to fix a problem that still has no universal solution. Even over a year after the consumer release, many players still experience foggy, sweaty headsets.
The ViveNchill is a compact and subtle solution born from extensive trial and error. The aim was to create something lightweight, quiet, and cheap. The small fans use adhesive to attach to the top of the headset for minimal invasion and plug directly into the HTC Vive’s built-in USB port for power. The fans run at less than 23 decibels, quiet enough to be forgotten while playing. They are angled toward the user’s forehead and can be easily switched on and off.
While the obvious approach is to cool the air inside the headset itself, testing proved this to be ineffective. “We experimented with countless fan types and build iteration after iteration of prototypes that focus on piping air into the headset,” said co-designer of ViveNchill, Tony Tran, in the firm’s promotion video. “It didn’t take long to realize that most users experience problems with dry eyes, high noise levels, and low air flow. In the end, we discovered that dissipating the heat generated across the forehead provided a much more substantial benefit than forcing air into the headset itself.”
Roughly 40 to 45 perfect of the body’s heat is lost through the head. By circulating cool air and dissipating the heat, users will sweat less. The moving air will also increase circulation around the mask, evaporating any sweat that may form.
RedRotor plans to bring the ViveNchill to Kickstarter soon with a price point of $25 to $32 according to Road to VR. Check back with Digital Trends to find out when the Kickstarter goes live. For anyone who has been looking to purchase an HTV Vive, the headset is currently on sale as part of the Steam Summer Sale.