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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.




System Specs: ASUS NVIDIA RTX 3090 TUF GAMING OC 24GB , i9 9900K CPU, 16 GB DDR 4 RAM, Win 10 64 Bit OS.
61 REPLIES 61

chuffedfox
Level 4

Ronin2306 said:

In my opinion if Oculus do not categorically state the reason why the device should not be used while charging, and someone has an accident, they will still be liable. People will always take more notice of such warnings if a reason is given


As ever in this modern age, you're entitled to an opinion - but it doesn't make your opinion legitimate.

If they say "don't do it", and you do it, they aren't liable.   It's a blanket warning applied to any device with a battery that you shouldn't use it when it is charging.

If you want to take the risk, go for it - don't look for someone to blame if you find that there are side effects.

burning_airline
Level 5
Where did Oculus tell us not to charge while using?  I didn't see that during setup or anything.

Superattorney
Level 3
Saying don't do it doesn't take Oculus off the hook. There's no such easy answer in litigation. It all depends on a variety of factors. That's just one factor. If there's a 100% chance the thing explodes when charging then you better believe they would be liable regardless of them saying don't do it. If they really wanted to lessen liability they would state the reason for example:

Do not charge while using the headset, headset may explode. 

That would lessen liability, but not eliminate it. Honestly, no company could release a product if it exploded so easily.

My advice: don't take advice from non-lawyers or random persons on the internet. Yes, even me. Take the advice at your own risk. The above is not legal advice and not intended as such. Consult an attorney.

voxelmaniam
Level 5
I think that it all boils down to the feature limitations that were required to allow Oculus to ship a device with this level of performance at an acceptable price point. I think there are a number of potential mods that would allow the device to operate safely on an external battery. Strap a 10 or 20 Ah power bank to the back head band and remove battery charging from the equation all together while improving the balance. Swap out the power bank at a reasonable discharge level and charge it at a safe distance; away from potential bodily harm.

We are early days here and given what looks like a slam dunk win for Oculus you can bet the mods will be pouring in. 32_GB units have already sold for as little as $120 on ebay and that is surely fodder for hardware hackers to enhance the product, warranty be damned. I'm already watching iFixit for their detailed tear down report. PL's release will hopefully speed that up.

Now if I can just figure out how to hack up an external camera. 8^)
A voxel is a three dimensional pixel!
Murray Foster

Pixelfox
Level 5
The worst-case scenario is an over-heated battery that somehow catches fire. The problem would be that on ignition, the Lithium-Ion battery would immediately flood the headset with toxic gasses, including some amount of Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), one of the deadlier poisons known, which could potentially do really bad things to your eyes before you can get the headset off.

It would seem prudent to me to have put the battery in an enclosed compartment that vents to the outside rather than into the headset, and that seems like it would add little cost.

Hopefully they use high quality batteries with near 0% risk of manufacturing defects, and people don't start sticking cheap LiPo high capacity replacement batteries in there or something similarly crazy.

Honestly the risk is probably really really low (you're probably like 100x more likely to die hitting your head after tripping over something while wearing the GO).

Zenbane
Level 16


Saying don't do it doesn't take Oculus off the hook. There's no such easy answer in litigation. It all depends on a variety of factors. That's just one factor. If there's a 100% chance the thing explodes when charging then you better believe they would be liable regardless of them saying don't do it. If they really wanted to lessen liability they would state the reason for example:

Do not charge while using the headset, headset may explode. 

That would lessen liability, but not eliminate it. Honestly, no company could release a product if it exploded so easily.

My advice: don't take advice from non-lawyers or random persons on the internet. Yes, even me. Take the advice at your own risk. The above is not legal advice and not intended as such. Consult an attorney.



If you ignore the warning sign on Bleach, drink it, and get poisoned: You can't sue Clorox.

Liability is determined by Negligence, which is judged according to regulatory standards and an organization's ability to illustrate due care and due diligence.

As for the whole "no company could release a product if it exploded so easily," umm... are you not familiar with the automotive industry?

http://abc13.com/automotive/ford-issues-recall-over-exploding-air-bags-in-rangers/2930159/
http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/27/news/companies/takata-airbags-australia-recall/index.html

UBSERD
Level 5
I might be rolling the dice but I’ve been playing with my Go using a Aukey 30000 MHP battery. It has a fast charge usb and it never gets hot and the battery stays at 92% minimum even running games like Republik VR.  I played nonstop today for three hours and my eyes are hurting LOL.  Not because of any heat but because you shouldn’t be in VR for all that time anyway. Battery when done was still in the 90s in Go.

 Another plus is once the battery charges the device completely it shuts off ultimately saving the battery in your Go, especially if you charge overnight like me. I hate leaving it like that overcharging because it has no natural shutoff once the battery is full.

 I’m not recommending anybody else doing what I’m doing but it hasn’t caused any issues in a decent climate. I would not recommend going outside in the hot sun during the summer days and trying this because the heat will have nowhere to go then you may be in trouble. I am not condoning doing this, just adding my two cents to the topic.

edmg
Level 10

Zenbane said:
As for the whole "no company could release a product if it exploded so easily," umm... are you not familiar with the automotive industry?

http://abc13.com/automotive/ford-issues-recall-over-exploding-air-bags-in-rangers/2930159/
http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/27/news/companies/takata-airbags-australia-recall/index.html



To be fair, the airbags weren't expected to do that, and last I heard the company who made them was pretty much bankrupt as a result. The auto manufacturers wouldn't have shipped them if they knew the airbags could kill people so easily.

It's not like they could put a 'don't sit near an airbag while driving' warning in the manual, because that would rather destroy the point of buying a car.

And, yeah, I've used my Go while it was charging, but it's not something I'm going to do often, precisely because I do know what Lithium batteries are capable of.

Zenbane
Level 16

edmg said:
To be fair, the airbags weren't expected to do that



K

Ford is recalling more than 570,000 vehicles in North America and Europe
to fix separate problems that can cause engine fires and doors to fly
open unexpectedly.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ford-recalls-570000-vehicles-for-engine-fire-risk...



That better? There's years of examples across several industries. These are the easy ones.

burning_airline
Level 5
I will ask again.  Where did Oculus say not to use the Go headset while charging?