by Meredith Thompson – Virtual reality has become synonymous with “head mounted display” (HMD). HMDs and hand controllers enable users to enter into a virtual world that can be filled with rich experiences. Thus far, most of the VR experiences have been in individual living rooms as gaming systems. As VR applications are developed for education, facilitators will have to be prepared for how to help users get into and out of VR set ups. Here are some tips we have learned along the way.

  1. Hygiene – We wipe down all equipment with hypoallergenic baby wipes while the user is watching, careful not to touch the lenses.
  2. Visual – We wipe off the lenses with lens paper.
  3. Personal space – Our protocol for getting people into VR set ups is as follows:
    • Hand them the hand controllers so they can see them and get a feel for them before putting on the headset.
    • Have the participant hand the controllers back to you so they can put on the HMD.
    • Show the user the HMD and how to adjust it.
    • Have the user put on the HMD. I usually say to “put it on like a hat”.
    • Have them adjust the HMD so it’s comfortably snug. Offer to help adjust if they would like.  As much as possible, have the participant put on the equipment.
    • Hand them the hand controllers
    • For people who have not been in VR before, offer them a chair. A swivel chair works best.
    • Check in on the person while they are in the virtual world
    • When they are finished, tell them you’ll take the hand controllers.
    • Have the user loosen and then take off the HMD.
  4. Personal aftermath
    • Have a mirror ready so people can readjust their appearance.
    • Offer baby wipes if they would like to pat down the raccoon eye marks created by the HMD
  5. In case of nausea
    • If a user complains that they are feeling nauseous, we immediately take them out of the experience.
    • Offer them water
    • Have them close their eyes for a few minutes. Often this will greatly reduce the nausea.
    • We have an anti-nausea pack on hand that includes
      • Ginger candy
      • Peppermint candy
      • Wristbands to relieve seasickness
      • Over the counter quick acting anti-nausea medicine

VR is still a novel experience, and for many of the people we work with this is their first time in VR. We believe these tips will help make that first experience a great one.

Curious about some great educational VR apps to try? Check these out.

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