The first consumer version of the Oculus Rift was released this week, and techies of a certain mindset have been clamoring to answer one question: how easy is this thing to take apart? Thankfully, the team at iFixit is here to help, and their teardown of the new Rift reveals a device that is pretty straightforward to deconstruct and (partially) fix. This isn't an impregnable black box like the latest iPhone — you just need a flathead screwdriver, some plastic spudgers, and a bit of confidence to strip down the VR headset.
The teardown reveals some of the Rift's tricks
Doing so reveals a number of improvements Oculus has made since earlier prototypes, the most obvious of which is replacing the single display (literally the same one used in Samsung's Note 3), with a pair of custom OLED panels. If you're at all curious about VR, the teardown is illuminating and reveals a lot about how the Rift works. For example, the reason you can adjust the headset's focus by moving it up and down your face is because it uses custom Fresnel lenses, the focusing of which differs depending on where you look through them.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was obviously enthused by the teardown, tweeting at iFixit: "You can go further than that! :)" When iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens replied that the goal was to be non-destructive, and asked how they could go further, Luckey responded: "Get really good at ultrasonic welding, maybe! Can't go much further easily, I will give you that." So, this is probably as far as we're going into the Rift for now, but it's a good start.
@kwiens Get really good at ultrasonic welding, maybe! Can't go much further easily, I will give you that.— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) March 30, 2016