The Dangers That Virtual Reality Poses
There is nothing that seems to be of worry when you set up your room with a virtual reality kit and wire it with your PC.
Not trying to scare you, but there may be a few things to worry about though.
Virtual reality is incredible, but not perfectly safe.
There could be some problems as Oculus Rift and more headsets like this are making their way to the public. Below are some of the potential “worries” or “dangers” of virtual reality.
1. You can get sick
Virtual reality makes some people feel motion sickness. They either feel dizzy or worse. You get the point.
It is hard to predict when this is going to happen. It happens with different game experiences for different people. Some people have found that the games moving slow where there is a need to use a physical controller like a Xbox One controller to move around brings them motion sickness. Oculus has some games like this such as Dreadhalls, Adr1ft, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Some people get motion sickness when playing faster games such as racing games.
There is the recommendation of taking breaks frequently in some of the VR headsets’ safety manuals. Tightening or loosing straps, fixing eye distance or focal distance, takes a lot of time to adjust, but that’s another way that people can supposedly help lessen the chance of getting motion sickness with VR.
Some game developers have made tweaks to their game designs to try to make them have a lower chance of inducing nausea or “motion sickness”.
Because of the eerily realistic simulated motion of virtual reality, it can have neurological effects. The condition suffered in flight simulations is “Simulator sickness”. A close cousin “virtual reality sickness” has been around us from the early days of virtual reality. However, app design and lag times have reduced it greatly, but it’s still a widespread issue. Maybe the hardware still needs to be improved or it’s something that we need to get used to. Maybe human beings always need to take breaks while utilizing virtual reality. Or it’s possible that VR developments over time will help to wipe out this issue of motion sickness.
2. You can’t see what’s around you in real life
The motion sensing virtual reality systems like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR involves standing, swinging of arms, ducking, and even briefly walking all with the help of a VR headset on your head that blocks outside sound and vision.
There is a pass-through camera that can see your surroundings in HTC Vive, and its sensors can also tell you that you are near or approaching towards a wall, but this camera feature is not always on. People can hit their controllers into their TV or into a wall resulting in a potential dangerous real world injury for the VR player.
You could even accidentally swing a controller into someone’s face if they’re standing in your “VR zone”.
What about the families playing together in virtual reality? What about the small children and pets near the person who is playing in virtual reality? You cannot keep virtual reality gadgets anywhere near them. Oculus also warns to move people or objects out of your virtual reality zone or Rift space and out of the reach of pets and children. Should you use VR in a private room alone? The answer as for safety, is yes, that would probably be the safest.
3. Tripping because of wires
There is another potential danger with the latest advanced virtual reality systems, that is cables. The virtual reality devices such as Oculus Rift, Vive, PlayStation VR (coming later this year) all are coming with thick bulky wires connecting your gaming system or PC. The Oculus Rift and Vive have long extension cords that are plugged in the special breakout box and these cords can break if they are pulled too hard.
Full room virtual reality like the Vive means walking around with a long cable following behind you throughout the floor. These cables sometimes snake under your feet and around your legs.
You can’t see anything and complications are bound to occur when lots of wires run between you and something across the room.
4. Screen that’s very close to your eyes
The idea of displaying the screen an inch or so from your face for a long time is not liked by some healthcare professionals. There aren’t many studies of what virtual reality might do as far as eye fatigue, but there will probably be more evidence over time that gives more details as for exactly how your eyes get fatigued through VR and what any damages may be.
For now, you shouldn’t be scared of VR, but simply be aware of the potential dangers and proceed with some level of caution.