The handy comfort mod has reached its $9,000 Kickstarter goal within 24 hours.
Who doesn’t love the Oculus Quest? Facebook’s brilliant standalone device is currently dominating the VR headset market, offering consumers a pain-free immersive experience that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Like any fledgling hardware, however, the device is not without its faults, the most vocal being a heavy front-end that can cause additional stress to a user’s neck during extended play sessions. This is where VR Balance comes in.
Designed to take the weight off the front of a headset, the VR Balance is a dedicated counterweight that attaches to the back of the Oculus Quest head strap via a removable velcro design. Weighing around the same as three 10,000 mAh power banks, the mod redistributes weight across the headset, promising more comfortable immersive experiences in which you almost forget you’re wearing a headset. You can even attach your personal power bank to the mod for even longer play sessions.
“I can personally only use the Quest about 20-30 minutes until it is too uncomfortable,” said creator Leon Jimenez while speaking to VRScout. “When it starts to slip down, the first thing I notice is it goes slightly out of focus. So I was constantly adjusting and tightening and getting “VR face”. I tried using battery power banks and military helmet counterweights, but they were not heavy enough. The VR balance is the equivalence of 2 1/2 power banks in weight.”
“I also designed VR Balance counterweights for the Index which is also surprisingly front heavy and for the Vive Digital Audio Strap. Their straps are more comfortable but are still about tightening and not true counterbalance. It would require a separate Kickstarter and the VR Balance for the Quest would need to be successful to see if there is demand for other headsets.”
We had a chance to go hands-on with the mod ourselves and were pleasantly surprised by how much more comfortable the headset became, albeit at a small cost. While the attachment does succeed at distributing the weight equally across the headset, there is a bit of whiplash when making sudden, rapid head-turns regardless of how tight we fixed the headset to our faces. Some users might not be bothered by this slight inconvenience; others may prefer dealing with the weight. When it comes to more physically-active VR experiences, personally, I’d rather deal with the weight. Still, I could definitely see myself using the counterweight while watching movies or less-intense 360 videos.
The VR Balance Kickstarter reached its $9,000 funding goal within 24-hours of going live on Kickstarter. They’re currently sitting at $14,745 with an addition 21 days to go in the campaign. Those who pledge at least $25 will receive their own VR Balance counterweight with a special embroidered logo. Shipping is expected to begin in March 2020.
Feature Image Credit: VR Balance