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Oculus GO Use when Plugged In?

Shadowmask72
Level 16
I think a number of people are worried about Oculus' recommendation of not using the GO whilst "charging" . I am not sure if that extends to plugged in whilst the battery is fully charged, but let's assume it does. The 2.5 - 3 hours battery life comes as a bit of a downer if say a movie lasts 3 or more hours (and there are plenty of those in recent times). One of the GO's biggest selling points is viewing movie content, but seems to stumble with the battery limitation. Also for those on long haul flights/journeys, having to charge the device back up to full can take up to 3 hours which is a bit of a shame. Some people are likely to opt for an external portable USB charging unit to keep the device topped up or recharged when in the field.

Now I posed this question on Reddit which was kindly answered by Oculus tech communications officer Lisa Jaloza who reiterated not to use GO whilst "charging". No other reasons were provided.  But it's the reasons why that is important here. Are Oculus simply being overly cautious or is there a real danger of diminishing the life of the battery far quicker when using it this way.

There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence as of now where people have used the GO whilst it's plugged in/charging with seemingly no ill side effects. However, we don't know if there is risk over the longer term to the battery life or potential hazard of something much worse. 

@cybereality Please can someone at Oculus answer this question in greater detail rather than saying a blanket response. I think this is quite important and if there is no real risk to users then surely they can be the judge of whether they want to use it whilst plugged in. 

That said, PL has just offered a tear-down showing the 2600mah battery inside making a good case for modification to a better battery.




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61 REPLIES 61

DPArcade
Level 2
I would buy it today if there was a larger battery option; 2.5 hours for film\2 hours for gaming, from a 100% charge, negates it's use case for myself (looks great otherwise). I would be interested in a specific answer to your question also

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

I'm assuming it's risk related. I'd personally not want to have a phone-sized charging lithium ion battery near my face. If a battery has even a small risk of over-heating (or worse), that's when it's going to happen. If that's the reason though, I'm not sure any company would want to put it into words.... no-matter how small he risk, it's just impossible to put into words and have it sound user friendly.


Reasonable question though.

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LZoltowski
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator
as @DaftnDirect points out, the unit is a lithium ion bomb strapped to your face and right in front of your eyes, charging lithium ion while also using it under stress can potentially cause it to fail if there is a manufacturing defect and KABOOM you end up like a monster of the week on Supernatural 

I am sure something as low taxing as Netflix will be fine, one of my mates who has it already, plugged it in and ran Netflix on it for an hour while charging (by obscuring the sensor) and noticed no warmth or extra heat , but stressing it with a game might not be a good idea.

Oculus is basically covering themselves to stop any litigation if the battery explodes into their eyes burning them out. It's a legal thing, so you know, use at your own risk.
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DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

Yeah I think that's right... how taxing the app is, is a factor on deciding whether to charge or not, it all adds up to the heat generated. Also whether the headset has been given a hard life, i.e. bashed about or dropped a few times is a factor when you multiply the small risk of damage to the charging circuit or something, by the number of headsets sold.


I'm sure the Go has been given a pretty rigorous testing regime… but it's a different animal to a mobile phone.

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RedRizla
Level 16
Well even with a mobile phone you are told not to use some while they are charging.  Don't Apple tell you not to do this with their iphones? 

DaftnDirect
Volunteer Moderator
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RedRizla said:

Well even with a mobile phone you are told not to use some while they are charging.  Don't Apple tell you not to do this with their iphones? 



Don't think I've ever read my phones instructions, having said that, my phone calls tend to be pretty short.

Not so bothered if it lets go in my hand while I'm playing with it (still talking about the phone).

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ken_moscoe
Level 2
I have the same question.  Battery life is my only concern as Id like to watch sporting events.

Shadowmask72
Level 16
Well the question is aimed at low stress applications as mentioned in my first post (watching movies rather than hardcore gaming). Thanks for the inputs guys but your responses are still speculation. I think if there was a more official response confirming what you are saying then I believe this will put some peoples minds at ease a little. However, perhaps there is no danger at all and the risk is reducing the effectiveness of the battery rather quickly which would also be bad.

Maybe someone has to do the test and run a demanding app with it plugged in and left on for hours to see what happens (obviously in a lab environment and not strapped to ones face). Perhaps Oculus tech already did this hence the warning. It's just a little vague and I think if they would come out and just say, yeh guys you should be ok watching movies or streaming content, but anything else you are at risk then that would be suffice for a number of people.




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Shadowmask72
Level 16
Some official but not official stuff coming in. The lovely Mister Carmack has kindly chimed in on the issue.

https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/status/991639271361712128

Quote J.Carmack
It should give 3+ hours of media viewing, 2 hrs of gaming. It works fine with a charging cable attached, the included one is just pretty short.

Ian Hamilton suggested the reason Oculus are saying to not use the device whilst charging is because the cable is too short and will restrict movement rather than a hardware issue.

 Imagine getting up in a hurry like (after being busted watching VR porn) and the cable gets yanked as you stand up. Not only would you be mega embarrassed at the horrified looks from whoever rumbled you, but you would also damage your GO.

So that's a double whammy right there.  ::cold_sweat:






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