Ongoing coronavirus concerns are spreading on a global scale. Even virtual reality users need to be aware of this problem, especially when using VR hardware in public locations.
Sharing VR Hardware and Hygiene
Various places provide access to virtual reality in exchange for a small fee. Customers can then rent headsets and play games for a specific time period. This model has proven to be very successful, as it removes the need for consumers to purchase a headset of $800 or even more.
Hygiene is a crucial issue when embracing this “social” aspect. Sharing VR headsets with others required thorough cleaning of the hardware after every use. Following the coronavirus outbreak, that level of hygiene will only become even more important moving forward.
Sweat and heat will build up when using a VR headset. It is a festering situation for bacteria and viruses to thrive in. There are also the handheld controllers, which are exposed to human skin, sweat, and whatnot. Sharing these devices with others without proper precautions can lead to further spreading COVID-19.
Preliminary research regarding the spreading of the novel coronavirus confirms as much. Statistics indicate that traces of the virus can remain on metal, glass, and plastic for at least two hours. In some cases, that “timeline” can be extended to up to 9 days, creating a very problematic situation.
Noteworthy Coronavirus Precautions
Wiping down a VR headset after every use is a default solution to maintain hygiene. In public spaces where hardware is shared with others, this step is never allowed to be skipped. Stepping up one’s hygiene game is crucial, even if the coronavirus wasn’t around.
Other solutions include forcing customers to wash their hands before and every use, to keep kits clean. It makes sense to most people on any given day, and the current concerns will only make customers more aware. If no sink is available, a hand sanitizer – alcohol-based preferably – is a viable alternative.
To keep VR hardware clear, wiping it down with antibacterial wipes is also advised. Not just due to the coronavirus, but to prevent the spreading of any sort of germs and bacteria in general. It is a small step to take to create a hygienic and safer environment for everyone.
One of the more interesting solutions comes in the form of disposable VR masks. Such a disposable cover can serve multiple purposes. Not only is it single-use and perfect for protecting the hardware, but they are also affordable. This is a great solution for companies demonstrating virtual reality to many people in a room.
Protecting the headset from bacteria is one thing, but the controllers shouldn’t be overlooked either. They are very similar to computer keyboards and mice in this regard. Providing removable controller covers is a great way to protect both the hardware and one’s customers.