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A Toronto-based engineer launched a Kickstarter for a Valve Index cooling addon which plugs in to the headset’s front USB accessory slot.
When No Man’s Sky released in summer 2019, I initially prefered playing on Index due to the wider field of view, precise lens separation adjustment, and realistic audio. However, the Index tends to heat up more than most VR headsets, and combined with the summer heat this meant I ended up using the Rift S more for long sessions.
But the Valve Index has a slot in the front with a USB port, designed to enable accessories. In the seven months since the release of Valve’s headset, several DIY cooling solutions emerged to solve this problem. As far as we’re aware, however, Chilldex is the first attempt to sell this as a product that can be used by anyone.
Fredericks claims to have seven years experience of product development, producing “over 100 products in the consumer electronics, wearable IOT, industrial, manufacturing robotics, energy, mining and medical sectors”.
Two versions of the product are planned. The standard version is priced CA$40 which is manually controlled. A Premium version is priced at CA$50 and said to offer the option of automatic temperature-based cooling.
Fredericks claims that the fans are “near silent”, achieved by using a rubber seal around the vents. The color and aesthetic of the product is designed to match that of the Index, such that it doesn’t look out of place.
The Kickstarter page doesn’t mention the weight of the product, but we’ve reached out to Fredericks to ask. The front of a headset is generally the worst place to add more weight and we’re also curious whether the device produces any notable vibrations. Last year we tried a USB-powered fan with the accessory slot that was not explicitly designed for a VR headset and it vibrated the headset too much to be usable.
Fredericks states that given the niche nature of the product, he will likely only produce a limited run for backers on Kickstarter, rather than continuing to sell it afterward. If that ends up being true, you would need to back by February 2.
Chilldex is available to back on Kickstarter. Always keep in mind that Kickstarter is not a preorder system, and there is never a guarantee that you will get what you backed or even a refund. Even well-funded hardware crowdfunding projects often fail to deliver due to unforseen costs.