Who would have thought that an electronic device would have the power to virtually transport us into a different land – Yes! We are talking about a VR headset. A device that can serve as an adrenaline rush amidst our day, and that spoils us with all its exciting features. However, there are precautions and VR safety tips to keep in mind before pursuing a powerful device like this.
These are true for people of all ages, and even more important for young children, tweens and teens.
6 Important VR Safety Tips You Should Know About
1) Limit/Time your VR experience:
VR can be immersive, but try and limit your experience to 20 minutes or maximum 30 per session. Even if you find a spectacular scene that makes you forget the outside world, give your eyes some time to recoup every 20-30 minutes. Take a break – sit down, drink water. An extended VR session may lead to disorientation, cause issues with hand eye coordination, ability to multitask and various other types of simulation sickness. This doesn’t mean VR is bad for you, it’s just so immersive that sometimes we forget to take it off!
2) Take Physical Precautions:
- Physical reminders of obstructions
Many of us love that adrenaline rush. If you’ve opted for a room scale VR experience, make sure you take a physical lap of the room. With the headset on, let your body muscles get familiar with the walls. Before starting a VR experience ensure to set boundaries away from the physical constraints in the space. For example, if the distance between the wall and the set VR boundary is 1 inch, you are more likely to have an accident.
- Open Space VR Experience
An open space will ensure a safe VR experience. Make sure that you are not close to furniture, plants, uneven land etc. You wouldn’t want to smash your brand new TV set, broken valuables and even end up hurting yourself in your home. Most importantly, take care of your pets. Now, we are sure you love your pet. Make sure you put him/her in a safe space before putting on a VR headset. The last thing you want is to trip and fall or to hurt the poor thing. This is not something that will ever be an issue with our App Hoppin’, as it allows you to see real world locations just as if you were there, without having to walk around your room, keeping you safe without the need to worry about hitting things around you.
- Physician advice on VR Viewing
It is recommended for you to be in good health to be able to have a safe VR experience. If you are pregnant, have experienced any kind of seizure, have a heart condition, psychiatric disorders or any kind of medical conditions then make sure to avoid the intense VR experiences and stick to the ones that are deemed ‘comfortable’ by the headset app stores.
- Appropriate age for VR Viewing
Although some VR headsets are designed for those around 12 and 13, make sure to do your research before leaving them unattended with one. It is advised, even by industry veterans, that the product should primarely be used by those above 18 years. As it is believed that some of the technology used could hamper the development of a child’s brain if used all the time (similar to computer screens!).
3) Learn about the Health Precautions:
- Adjust focal settings on the VR to prevent eye strains
Have you ever tried on a friends specs, and jolted because of the strain it caused in between youreyes? That’s exactly what your eyes go through when you remove a VR headset. The eyes take some time to adjust and refocus to the real world. This may cause irritation in the eyes and eventual soreness. Adjust the focal settings of your VR properly when setting up your headset and take breaks during your VR experience to prevent this.
- Take a break during your VR Experience
Many of us feel sick or nauseated because of too much or rigourous movement. When highly immersed in a VR experience, if you are the type to get sea sick, you may tend to get simulator motion sickness. Don’t hesitate to pull yourself out and take a short break, sit down, drink water. In worse cases, lie-down on the floor with eyes shut for sometime. Our mind and eyes take some time to adjust to the real world after a VR experience. This is one of the VR safety tips everyone should know about; its a great experience, but like with everything too much is the same as too little.
4) Start with a less intense VR experience:
We want to start everything with a bang. An Oculus Rift or Playstation VR throw us into an exciting scurry, but start with a less intensive experience. Opt for something that is less strenuous for both the mind and body. For your initial VR experiences, sit down or opt for a much less strenuous VR experience. Sudden physical activities may lead to muscle strains and therefore, be injurious to health. Most of the experience in the Hoppin’ App aren’t very strenuous, making them perfect for people of all ages.
5) Read & Listen to the VR Headsets’ Safety Warnings:
Some VR headsets have an in-built safety alarm or safety warning feature. As you approach a wall or an object that may potentially cause physical damage, they issue an alert. However, one needs to be aware to be able to cut through the immersive experience in case the alarm goes off amidst a VR session and stop the session.
6) Ask a Spotter/Friend to watch you (optional):
This is when your neighbourhood friend comes in handy. Imagine how much your neighbour or friend will enjoy watching you flinch, duck and have your mouth wide open in awe as you experience VR. This is something that deserves to be shared so get someone to watch you. The VR industry aims to construct a product that gives you a wilder and more intense experience. A seamless VR experience can be enjoyed with a buddy. You can return the favour by switching roles or inviting them to get Hoppin.
If you have other VR safety tips or recommendations feel free to comment below!
What’s Hoppin’ World?
Hoppin’ is the first social vr travel platform available for free for anyone. It brings you and your friends together by enabling you to share a VR experience. An experience becomes more memorable when experienced with friends. Destinations benefit in terms of a life-like virtual promotion.
Hoppin’ is the first Social VR Platform that allows you to visit real world destinations anywhere around the world. It allows for you to ‘meet’ your friends virtually as avatars in places that are 360˚ degree videos of real world places. This gives you the ability to meet in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris one day, and a few minutes later to go hangout together on the top of the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. There are currently dozens of places in the Hoppin’ platform, with hundreds more to come in the next year. Rather than using skype or messenger to speak to your loved ones, and rather than using zoom or uberconference for your daily meeting with your work colleagues, try Hoppin’.
Think you deserve a break? Revitalise yourself with memorable experiences. If you don’t have a headset yet you can get one here. Dive into that VR headset (and use it carefully) today and live your desired experiences! And if you have a destination you would like to add to the platform, or have any questions related to the app, simply contact us here.
Looking forward to seeing you on the Hoppin’ App!
The Hoppin’ Team