By B.N. Frank
Research has proven that wearing Virtual Reality (VR) headsets can cause behavioral changes, balance issues, cognitive problems, eye problems (soreness, vision changes), headaches, and MORE. Got kids? Children absorb 2-5 times more radiation while wearing headsets than adults!
This hasn’t stopped tech companies – including Facebook – from selling VR headsets and programs (see 1, 2). However, today Facebook announced it was recalling millions of VR face liners due to customer complaints.
From Ars Technica:
Facebook recalls 4 million Quest 2 VR face liners over “rashes and hives”
All Quest 2 systems pulled from shelves ahead of August price, storage refresh.
Facebook’s VR division is recalling every single foam facial liner included in its Oculus Quest 2 VR headset in North America, the company confirmed, as part of a US CPSC recall notice. An investigation found 5,716 reports of “skin irritation” from system owners, along with “approximately 45 reports of consumers that required medical attention.”
The recall applies to “about 4 million” customers, which is the closest public estimate we’ve yet seen for Quest 2 hardware sales in the US since the system went on sale in late 2020. Since this estimate includes standalone purchases of face covers, it’s not an exact measure, but considering how ho-hum the default face masks are, we’re confident that few people were rushing to buy duplicates of it, as opposed to superior third-party options.
In light of the recall, Facebook is also taking the extreme measure of pausing all Oculus Quest 2 sales in North America, in addition to offering silicone-liner replacements to all existing owners. This news comes after UploadVR confirmed Facebook’s plans to launch a new price point for the VR system in August: $299 for a 128GB model (up from 64GB), along with the existing 256GB model at $399. Facebook now says that the August 24 relaunch will mark the system’s return to retail outlets with an updated silicone face cover packed in by default.
One of many serious Quest 2 downgrades
Consumer complaints began piling up shortly after the system’s October 2020 launch regarding rashes, burning sensations, red facial marks, and hives experienced while wearing the VR headset. These complaints often said that the users hadn’t felt particularly warm temperature-wise, so they were not building up sweat within the VR headset’s goggle portion. (My own review of Quest 2 mentioned so many complaints that I barely touched on my disdain for the cheap-feeling foam face liner, which felt like a serious downgrade from the Quest 1’s fabric. Quest 2 is marked by a number of downgrades from its predecessor, arguably to scrape back savings to make room for its spec upgrades.) By early 2021, Facebook posted a minor acknowledgment of the issue and described the problem as affecting “about 0.01 percent” of system owners.
Coincidentally, there have been reports and/or recalls due to skin irritations from activity trackers too – Apple Smart Watches, Fitbits, etc. (see 1, 2, 3, 4). Companies have also attributed these to ingredients and/or materials used to make the wristbands and not radiation emissions from the wearable devices.
Activist Post reports regularly about Virtual Reality (VR) and other unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following links:
- Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
- Environmental Health Trust
- Physicians for Safe Technology
- Wireless Information Network
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