Health Risks of VR : 11/03/2016

Health Risks

There are reported side effects to virtual reality and consequently many brands have put an age limit of 13. Many believe that these companies are simply covering themselves. Professor Peter Howarth, an optometrist and expert on stereoscopic displays believes that there is no significant risk to children. (VentureBeat, 2016) There is a long list of health and safety warnings, which are provided with these devices but again many believe it is simply to cover themselves from liability. If these side effects were as dangerous as to cover them with all these warnings many believe that VR projects would never have had billions invested in them and the excitement and momentum being created would not have happened.

Side effects:

  • Motion sickness
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Eye strain
  • Nausea

How to counteract these:

  • Allow movement in the direction the user is facing but can be limiting to using applications.
  • Creating less complex textures on the images and reducing player motion can avoid vection, where your brain is being tricked into movement.
  • Keep turns and jumps to a minimum and reduce side to side motion.
  • Have lighter headsets.
  • Provide natural eye optics to provide comfortable viewing and reduce eye strain.

VentureBeat (2016) We are not talking about what VR is doing to our eyes…Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/18/were-not-talking-about-what-vr-is-doing-to-our-eyes-and-our-brains/

(Accessed 11 March 2016)

 

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