Though it’s finally gearing up for a consumer launch, there’s still plenty to learn about virtual reality (VR) technology. One of the most pressing issues that is yet to be fully explored is its suitability with children. Aside from some simulation sickness, there hasn’t yet been any reported issues with long-term uses of VR for adults, though that could be very different for children. As such, Oculus VR has set a 13+ age rating for its Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD), something that CEO Brendan Iribe recently explained.
Iribe talked about the age restriction in a recent interview hosted at this year’s Code Conference. “It’s early days and we really are trying to be conscious of health and safety,” he said.
“We put a warning on right when you put it on and the age of 13 was something that made a lot of sense when we became a part of Facebook, their age is 13 as well. And so we just felt ‘let’s start at 13, let’s evolve the technology more, let’s build more confidence, in the health and safety side of it. And eventually, one day, we definitely want to have Oculus for kids, especially for all the educational use of this.”
The first consumer Oculus Rift is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2016. This age restriction will apply to that device, but it sounds as if Oculus VR hopes to reduce that limit with future iterations of the device while will hopefully improve on a wide range of aspects. That restriction also applies to Oculus VR’s mobile HMD, Gear VR, which was created in partnership with Samsung. This could perhaps be one of the topics currently being explored at Oculus VR’s own research division, Oculus Research.
VRFocus will continue to follow the Oculus Rift closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.