May 3, 2021

Grungy VR: Story

Having borrowed the gear nearly a week beforehand, I finally found some disposable time to sit down and give my son’s Oculus Quest VR a robust test drive. I was so looking forward to “taking her for a spin”. With great anticipation I held the headgear in my hands, studying how to best don the peculiar looking cap, when suddenly I froze with apprehension. Looking at the soft surface designed to make a tight fit over my eyes and forehead, I noticed it was particularly dirty, questionably so, and thought to myself “Do I want to clean this darn thing before I put it on?” Given the angst of possibly courting any unwanted and unexpected covidian germs, I slowed down to think it all through, especially given the ugly and scummy surface that lurked distastefully in front of me.

It was then no surprise that this unseemly encounter shifted my thinking towards the thousands of schools/universities that use similar VR or AR headgear, and how the threat of covid-related sanitary issues has already put the kibosh on the use of this technology in classrooms. I wondered “How can schools and universities address this acute hygiene problem?”

Now, back to the borrowed and grungy headgear, which I described in the first paragraph. It’s all in the family, I thought, so I put on the soiled HMD on and went ahead with my virtual journey. I am certain I would not do that in an educational institution, however, because no one has any idea where all those little foreheads have been. Fortunately, there are some commercial-grade solutions now available to educational institutions to specifically address these hygiene concerns. We'll look at those solutions over the next few weeks.

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