It’s not very often that co-founders, much less co-founders who were quietly kicked out of the company they created, go out of their way to help their former employer with a product problem. But Palmer Luckey, who started Oculus VR and left parent company Facebook in 2017, is doing just that.
In a blog post, Luckey says that he offers free audio repair kits to owners of the initial consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset, which suffers from a widespread audio clipping problem that Luckey claims is due to a “Failure of the complex electromechanical assembly you receive The RR1 kit, for” Rift Repair One, “took Luckey less than three hours to design, he says, but he continued to run intensive tests using headphones that customers have sent him for years to make sure that could fully address the problem.
According to Luckey, “the fault is limited to the ground trace (GND) for the correct headphone audio module. This sometimes turns into full audio clipping for both ears, though that’s less common, “he writes.” The RR1 repair kit can fix both types of faults, and has been designed so that the average PC gamer will not have problems with installation. “It says that Oculus will generally cover any repairs to the device itself as long as the product is under warranty. But” older Rift users who are more likely to suffer from this issue are generally out of the warranty period. ”
He recommends contacting the Oculus support channel first to see if you can get official support, but if all else fails, you can contact Luckey via [email protected] for a free RR1 kit. Here is a complete summary of how exactly it works:
The kit functions as an external wiring harness for the Oculus Rift CV1 that can be configured in various ways to address a variety of different faults while running in parallel with the existing electrical system. Most people just need a common ground between the left and right headphone audio modules – just put on the wiring harness, slide the bypass discs between the headphone pogo pins and the strap receptacle . You will be back to work! Users with a total audio failure will also benefit from the ability to fully drive from external audio sources, both wired and wireless. The kit weighs approximately 32 grams, but since the weight is behind the facial interface and close to the head, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Note that the RR1 cannot troubleshoot ribbon cable faults affecting the rear constellation tracking LEDs.
Luckey says the kit doubles as a third-party headphone adapter, but that he has no plans to distribute it as such. “I’m doing this because I feel bad for the people who bought me a Rift and I can’t use it properly anymore, not to make using third-party headphones a bit more convenient,” he explains. “Maximizing the number of people in the virtual reality ecosystem is also important to me, and people who have been using their headsets for years and more tend to be among the most engaged and valuable users who invest tons of money in the virtual reality ecosystem. content. ”
Luckey, a self-described libertarian who left Facebook due in part to his funding of a pro-Trump organization during the 2016 US presidential race, certainly has the money to support the RR1 giveaway, with a net worth north of $ 700 million. . After leaving Oculus, Luckey founded a defense and security company called Anduril Industries, named for a sword in the The Lord of the rings trilogy, which is developing a type of virtual border wall technology for the United States defense industry.