Virtual reality headsets pose safety concerns

For kids and young people, the top item on their list of fun things to have is probably a virtual reality kit, but according to one tech writer VR comes with a load of safety issues.

According to Scott Stein, writing for cnet.com, VR is amazing but it isn’t especially safe.

Stein points out that when VR technology is demonstrated to tech writers, it is always in an empty demo room with a staffer standing behind each person to prevent trips and slips. But nonetheless, trips happen.

Among Stein’s concerns:

VR-induced nausea – Although developers are working on this, players may frequently develop nausea in their immersive experiences. Taking breaks can help limit fatigue, nausea and dizziness.

Blind and deaf in the real world – The standout safety feature of VR is that the user is immersed in unreality while reality still exists in the form of walls and objects. Also people and pets. Stein recommends no pets or people in a room where someone is playing VR. There is no way to see toddlers or pets. No way to see the location of the coffee table or television set. If you draw the boundaries for your VR game incorrectly, you stand the chance of punching a wall.

Tripping over wires – With VR you can even lose the sense of where your own body is. Imagine how difficult cables will be in that situation. VR gaming systems may have cables leading back to gaming sets. When you play, you can’t see the cables. You don’t even have a sense of where your body is in relation to itself.

Eye damage – Users have reported troubling side effects of having an image 1 inch from their eyes. Eye strain is documented. After images are possible, so when you look out into the real world, you see images of the game. More studies are coming.