Two years ago, through many hours of research, a group of high school students made the decision to begin a class on VR. We chose the Oculus Rift and purchased 15 headsets. We thought we covered all the bases. Computer power. Check. Graphics card. Check. HDMI port. Check. USB ports. Check. We placed the order, picked up the shipment, and unpacked them. Months of planning was finally a reality.
Then we began using them. One aspect we never thought to research was the VR facemask material. The Oculus, and the very similar HTC Vive, have facemasks are very comfortable, but essentially they are sponges. For a single user who sweats, this is mildly uncomfortable. In an educational environment where we wanted to cycle multiple users through, this became an issue. The sponge-like material became a collecting ground for sweat, natural oils, and makeup. Not very hygienic.
I put my students to work. We needed to find a solution. Most of our initial searches only offered a cloth covering. These are washable, but we felt it would only be a slight upgrade. Finally, we found a product offered by VRcover.com. The replacement facemasks offered a material we could wipe off and clean between users. We use Wet Ones anti-bacterial wipes. One note of caution. According to Oculus, the HMD lenses must not come in contact with the wipes. To guard against this, we use the single use wipes and keep them folded.
This replacement VR facemask has served us well and provided us with a working solution. The cost to cover 15 of these was extensive, but without them, running multiple students through a single headset wouldn’t be feasible.