The sleek cooler automatically adapts to your headset heat output, offering comfortable temperatures throughout lengthy sessions.
With a 1,440×1,600 per eye resolution on LCD panels, near-field off-ear speakers capable of 3D directional audio, and a 120-hertz standard refresh rate, the Valve Index is easily one of the most powerful consumer-friendly VR headset available at the moment. Naturally, all of these powerful components can eat up quite a bit of power and, in turn, generate a fair amount of heat.
In an effort to combat the rise of sweaty in-headset experiences, Kyle Fredericks — a veteran product designer specializing in mechanical engineering and electrical design — has developed a smart cooling mod for the Valve Index headset that minimizes heat generated by the headset without creating a noticeable “wind” effect on the face of the user.
Attached via a basic USB input located on the headsets front panel behind the faceplate, the device — cleverly designed to incorporate the Aperture Laboratories logo — is available in two varieties: the Chilldex Standard and Chilldex Premium.
Currently just $1,625 short of its $17,530 Kickstarter goal, the Chilldex Standard features dynamic fan speeds designed to accommodate a variety of games and experiences. Controlled via two physical buttons located on the edge of the cooler, lower fan speeds remove air from inside the headset, offering cool temperatures during less graphically-intensive experiences. Higher fans speeds, on the other hand, pull in ambient air from around the headset into the cooler fans through the gap between the faceplate and the headset, providing even cooler temperatures without blowing wind over the user’s face and creating dried eyes.
The Chilldex Premium offers the same cooling support as the Chilldex Standard, only with the added benefit of automatic temperature detection. Put simply, the device instantly adapts to the headsets heat output and adjusts fan speeds accordingly. While the Chilldex is designed to fit seamlessly within the existing Valve Index design, Fredericks states that the mod will perform more efficiently with the faceplate removed.
“I started this project as a response to being fed-up with the amount of sweat building up in the headset, literally after a few songs of Beat Saber, sweat would be beading up near my forehead and getting in my eyes,” states Fredericks on the official Kickstarter page. “ I was just overall unsatisfied with the level of heat in the headset. I drew the line when I was making the headset damp playing moss which is a sit-down game. With Halflife: Alyx around the corner, longer and longer play sessions are becoming the norm.”
As previously stated, the Chilldex currently sits just short of its $17,530 goal with an additional 20 days still left in the campaign. Pledging $40 gets you the Chilldex Standard; $50 for the Chilldex Premium. Fredericks has stated that he will only be a very limited run, however, so those interested will definitely want to make their pledges sooner than later.
Feature Image Credit: Kyle Fredericks