Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey isn’t in the VR hardware business these days since getting canned by Facebook (he’s focused on smart border security at his new company Anduril), but he still wants people to like the product he helped design.
A couple of months back he detailed some of the rather intricate mods he had made to the company’s Oculus Go headset to better tailor the headset to his use cases. Today, he’s showcasing a fix for an audio hardware issue in the original Rift that he says is causing problems for some Rift users, cutting off audio in the headset’s right headphone.
Affected users haven’t been left without audio entirely, but the process of using third-party headphones and a super-long audio extension cord to plug into your PC is cumbersome, to say the least. Luckey goes as far as to refer to the issue as a design flaw with the Rift headset; he also notes that Oculus will repair faulty headsets under warranty but that he’s found that it’s also affected plenty of out-of-warranty Rift owners.
Over the past few weeks Luckey says he’s been buying from users headsets that had audio issues to get a full overview of the problem, and now he’s figured out a fix. Luckey writes on his blog that he’ll ship a free repair kit to any users that have reported their issue. You can check out his post linked above for full details.
Luckey doesn’t work at Facebook anymore, so why is he even bothering himself with this? From his blog post, it seems to be a little bit of founder’s guilt.
“The Oculus Rift CV1 is not perfect. Some issues are the result of carefully considered design tradeoffs, but others are design flaws that did not become apparent as such until well after launch,” Luckey writes. “I am doing this because I feel bad for people who bought a Rift from me and can’t use it properly anymore.”
It’s very cool to see Luckey continue to take ownership of a product that he helped create. Facebook is preparing to release an update to the Rift this year, but for users that bet on VR’s first-generation and are suffering from some audio issues it seems their headsets can keep plugging along with a little bit of tinkering.