Programs are looking for their students to keep their skills up while keeping social distancing in a classroom or in high-fidelity simulation scenarios. Immersive Virtual Reality simulation is especially valuable in that context. The recent event has brought up some concerns about how to safely train using VR equipment, and more specifically, how to disinfect your VR headset.
We take this very seriously and have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions around practical hygiene recommendations for your convenience. For any question or inquiry not addressed here, please contact us by emailing email@example.com and we will support you the best we can.
What are your recommendations for sanitization during virtual reality simulation sessions?
Oculus, the company manufacturing the Oculus Rift S and the Quest, encourages users to refer to their Health and Safety guidelines and the CDC guidance for general directions on cleaning and disinfecting. We recommend the following steps:
- Wash or sanitize your hands before and after training in virtual reality. Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after using and cleaning VR hardware.
- Sanitize the VR headset and controllers before and after each use. You should ensure that the headset and controllers have been wiped down with antimicrobial wipes before and after each use. Oculus recommends non-alcohol-based sanitizers. However, we have found that in practice that this does not seem to have any negative consequences. If you are not sure it’s been cleaned properly prior to use, be sure to do it yourself.
- Use a dry microfiber cloth to clean your headset’s lenses.
If I order VR hardware from you, has it been disinfected?
Yes, our service includes a sanitizing step prior to shipping out the hardware. Anything inside the cardboard box you receive has been cleaned and sanitized.
Do you recommend any specific products for safe use?
Based on what is currently known, we believe taking the above measures will be sufficient. If you are curious about further steps you can take to mitigate risk, here are three additional things you can try:
1. Disposable VR Masks. Disposable covers such as these are perfect for keeping your virtual reality headset clean and protected for everyone who use it. Each mask is single-use. It is fitted over the ears and across the eyes before placing a virtual reality headset on and ensures that everyone gets a fresh VR experience every time, plus they’re pretty affordable. Here is one example (click here)
2. Non-porous Face-foam. After-market face masks that are non-porous are available and easier to clean than the standard face-foam that comes with your hardware. Here are two examples click here & here
3. Sanitizing Stations. A company named CleanBox has a solution that disinfects and dries VR headsets, one at a time. This is the most costly of these extra options, but we wanted you to be aware of it as you assess solutions for your hygiene plan.
These are just a few observations and it is important that you define with your team what protocols you might need to put in place to clean your VR equipment or what measures may need to be added to keep staff and students safe.
If you have any questions on keeping your headsets cleaned and sanitized, please do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.