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 What about safety? Can the consumer rift be on the market? 
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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The rift showed to the public by Carmack and Palmer, even if VR is almost 20 years old and is largely used in military and scientific projects, has become a consumer prototype only in the last few months.
All the actual comparable VR headsets, those in the range of tens of thousands of dollars, are operated under the supervision of a technician or an engineer or any other person that can provide prompt assistance in case of danger.
There is no prior mass market product that features an headset like that, that fully isolates the subject from the surroundings and lets it stand still without any clues with the real world, and without anyone nearby to help.
When playing for an extended time, there the user can feel dizzy and fall on the ground; or it will move from the original spot and hit every kind of object inside the room.
If, for safety reasons, the rift can be used only under the supervision of another person, or only if sitting on a chair or a couch, and only for limited amounts of time, you can write these warnings in capital letters on the box, on the user manual, even on the rift itself, but many users will simply ignore it and risk severe injuries.
This first batch is aimed to developers so no problem, but a mass market product has to obey to a huge amount of safety certifications: do you think that a commission like the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) will approve a consumer product that poses so relevant safety risks?

Maybe they will be forced to leave some room around the eyes to let the user see what's around him, and that will break immersion just like the sony hmz headset.
Or they have to use an external kinect-style camera that precisely tracks the user body and the space around him, that will fade the virtual image on the display and overlay the real world captured by another camera mounted on the rift itself.
The only cheap but weird solution I can think of is to put the user inside a sort of inflatable big air bag :D

I hope devs will find a solution, but I fear it will break the experience or comes at an high cost.
What do you think?


Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:34 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I think the initial solution is: "Sit Down" :)


Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:47 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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A big fat disclaimer should do the trick:D

As for my 2 pennies, I'll take my chances on safety any day of the week for true immersive VR ;)


Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:06 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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I don't think it will be any more dangerous that previous headsets which had immersion shields (like the VR920 or other Vuzix products). As long as you are sitting down in front of a desk you should be relatively safe. Now if you are walking around 360 degrees wearing the Rift (like with a Backtop or wireless setup) then, well, we can hope you know what you are doing. But that just doesn't seem like a mainstream use-case. So I think people will be fine.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:11 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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Take away all the warning signs and let the problem take care of itself...


Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:27 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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I wasn't talking about the risks that a person is willing to face (I for myself have pledged to receive one ot the dev kit :D );
I was talking about safety concerns about a mass market product that a safety certification commission isn't going to allow!
Even if the product is classified 18+, that doesn't mean that it's allowed to be dangerous.
Even on the hot beverage glasses they have to put the legal warning that it can causes burns;
so, to be legally protected, they should write on the rift box, at this stage of development, that it can cause severe injuries or even death :shock:

Other consumer products like the vuzix have low FOV, have open sides so you are not isoletade from the surroundings, and they don't simulate the real head movements to fool you're into a real world, but they rather use your head as a mouse just like a trackIr does.

I will take my risks playing with the rift, and I know you will too, but will the safety commissions around the world allow that?


Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:34 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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These kind of warnings are standard even for games you play on your TV. But sure, its probably a good idea to provide some standard warning graphics with the SDK akin to the Wii telling you not to play near delicate objects and such.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:38 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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@crespo80: That was my point about the Vuzix HMDs. They had optional "immersion shields" which would completely block out light from the sides. No, they weren't high FOV headsets, but they were still just as dangerous as you could not see anything of the real world. They also had head-tracking (w/ the VR920 and later models) which some games supported with full 3DOF. And no one, I know of, ever got hurt using them. I don't think its an issue.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:52 pm
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I always get annoyed when the worlds idiots set the standard for people who actually use their head.
Especially for stuff that gets banned.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:54 pm
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Blackout face-masks for use on aircraft and at home (to aid sleeping in bright environments) are sold without any issue. I can't see there being any major regulatory hurdles the RIFT has to jump that these didn't.

Oh, and the Virtual Boy, which also totally blocks peripheral vision, was successfully sold and marketed to children (even with it's eye-pain-inducing display). I don't think the Rift will have a problem.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:37 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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either I can't explain myself or I'm too bound to an european and more bureaucratic way of thinking (I'm italian and we have so many laws and constraints about consumer safety you can't imagine) :lol:

One of the main guide lines when evaluating the safety of a consumer product, and I think this is valid here and overseas, is the "reasonable usage": the product must be safe either when the consumer uses it as intended by the manufacturer or when he uses it in a way that it's reasonable to think he might!

For example, it's not reasonable to think anyone could use the virtual boy standing up, because it was not advertised this way, it cannot be wrapped around the head without modifying it, it's too big and heavy and there's no gain in doing that!

The same for the blackout face-masks: it's not reasonable to think a customer could use it while standing up or walking, because there's no reason to do that.

When engineering an hair dryer, you can't presume it will be always used as intended, thus not providing any electrical protection in the case the customer will use it in a not so unreasonable way while completely wet and bare-foot!

The rift was told to be better enjoyed while standing up, so it's more than a reasonable usage, it's the way it was meant to be played (LOL it seems a Nvidia ad :D ).
And even if the consumer version will not advertized to be played in such a way, it's very reasonable the average customer would want to try it while standing up, all the more so if there will be a wireless version!


Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:07 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

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What about bicycles? Homegyms? Kitchen knives?

All of these things are just as dangerous to misuse as the Rift. I dont see how a disclaimer won't cut it. I mean,as CR pointed out, its no different to other goggles, such as Fatshark which also cuts off your external view, and is also used standing up.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:35 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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I foresee some hilarious videos on yt in the future about people falling over from chairs and stuff like that :lol:


Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:42 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Since we're talking about this...I'm just curious. I'm trying to release a product next year that requires the user to walk around outdoors using a Rift. The software makes a best effort to guide the player within a defined boundary, but there is nothing preventing the user from just walking outside of that area, or playing within an area with hazardous obstacles and smashing into things. What do you guys think the implications for this are in terms of safety regulations and litigation?


Last edited by brantlew on Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:54 pm
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Honestly you can NEVER fully control the your surroundings outside, and should not gamble even on an empty basketball court.
A private property is better, a fence/gate even more so. Staying inside, like a gym that you have access to alone, sounds safer.
Once you block your view, you never know what might end up in front of you after putting on the blindfold.
I have to say in your case, it would be a wize idea to maybe recommend people having a partner in crime watching their backs.

Edit:

Maybe in the future you can have a warning system with a helmet-cam, that overlays a video feed if something is in front of you.
That would also solve it if you are about to run into a wall, game is cut off and you see video footage of what you are walking towards.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:04 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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crespo80 wrote:
The rift showed to the public by Carmack and Palmer, even if VR is almost 20 years old and is largely used in military and scientific projects, has become a consumer prototype only in the last few months.
All the actual comparable VR headsets, those in the range of tens of thousands of dollars, are operated under the supervision of a technician or an engineer or any other person that can provide prompt assistance in case of danger.
There is no prior mass market product that features an headset like that, that fully isolates the subject from the surroundings and lets it stand still without any clues with the real world, and without anyone nearby to help.
When playing for an extended time, there the user can feel dizzy and fall on the ground; or it will move from the original spot and hit every kind of object inside the room.
If, for safety reasons, the rift can be used only under the supervision of another person, or only if sitting on a chair or a couch, and only for limited amounts of time, you can write these warnings in capital letters on the box, on the user manual, even on the rift itself, but many users will simply ignore it and risk severe injuries.
This first batch is aimed to developers so no problem, but a mass market product has to obey to a huge amount of safety certifications: do you think that a commission like the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) will approve a consumer product that poses so relevant safety risks?

Maybe they will be forced to leave some room around the eyes to let the user see what's around him, and that will break immersion just like the sony hmz headset.
Or they have to use an external kinect-style camera that precisely tracks the user body and the space around him, that will fade the virtual image on the display and overlay the real world captured by another camera mounted on the rift itself.
The only cheap but weird solution I can think of is to put the user inside a sort of inflatable big air bag :D

I hope devs will find a solution, but I fear it will break the experience or comes at an high cost.
What do you think?


My solution. Let Darwin sort it out. ;)

These are the same idiots that text while driving. There is something wrong with the concept of not being self aware or being responsible for your own actions. People don't need keepers, they need common sense.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:10 pm
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BHawthorne, hear hear!

I could not stop laughing when I heard kinder eggs was or still are banned in several states in the U.S

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:14 pm
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+1 for the 'being responsible for your own actions'. Do we really need the warning on plastic bags not to put on head as they can cause suffocation and DEATH?
I understand warnings for things that are hidden or not immediately not obvious (pharmaceuticals, corrosives, etc), but for things like this, it should be obvious the inherent dangers. That being said, I would hate for a single law suite due to not having appropriate warnings on the product to set this kind of technology back, so it's probably worth investigating what sort of warnings should be included. I agree with cyber though that this isn't any different then previous HMDs that are already in the market, so it's not going to stop it being sold.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:33 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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@brant: In your case I think warnings may be necessary, as the intended use of the software would be do use it in a large open space (probably outside). Or course you have to worry about people using it near roads and getting hit by cars, getting mugged/attacked by evil-doers, or even something as stupid as a rock in the grass or a small ditch. Unless the environment is strictly controlled (like a private indoor basketball court, but how many people have access to that?) then I think it could be dangerous.

That said, I don't think its so dangerous as to be banned from being sold. Its still a very niche product and you can assume people experimenting with VR know the risks. But there should at least be some instructions and warnings, if anything just to cover your butt. But I am not a lawyer. I have no idea if a warning will protect you in court.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:57 pm
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I expect Rift is safer than a bottle of vodka, they are pretty easy to buy, and well known for making people fall over...

Brantlew, Perhaps you could sell it as a novelty, with a disclaimer that it must not be used under any circumstances? (Like they sell bongs in th UK?) I have to say I woud never dare use your walking tracking thing, walking in my town with expensive gear, and blindfolded, would be asking for a Darwin award.

EDIT: Unless you had a large friend with you. In that case, why not just grab some sticks and have a sword fight?

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:31 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful

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Caution: If you cover your eyes you won't see anything.
Caution: If you walk across the road without seeing anything you might get hit by a car.
Caution: Don't drive and use Rift at the same time.
Caution: Don't use a chainsaw while near kids and/or pets with the Rift on your head.
Caution: Don't swallow hand grenades.

I'm always fascinated by the sheer stupidity of people to be needing all these kinds of cautionary reprimands to not go around dying from whatever they buy.


Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:56 am
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One Eyed Hopeful
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To be fair, I've seen people do REALLY stupid things with technology. Hell, I've seen people do really stupid things period. The human race seems to have a knack for killing itself with whatever it can get its hands on. :lol:


Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:57 am
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Cross Eyed!
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kalabalik wrote:
Caution: If you cover your eyes you won't see anything.
Caution: If you walk across the road without seeing anything you might get hit by a car.
Caution: Don't drive and use Rift at the same time.
Caution: Don't use a chainsaw while near kids and/or pets with the Rift on your head.
Caution: Don't swallow hand grenades.

I'm always fascinated by the sheer stupidity of people to be needing all these kinds of cautionary reprimands to not go around dying from whatever they buy.


It all boils down to people don't like to admit wrong doing. They will blame anyone else but themselves. It's always someone else's fault. I'm a strong advocate for Darwin Awards. Let nature sort out stupid from the gene pool. :lol:

Caution: Lack of situational awareness kills no matter what you're doing. :P

With VR and AR it's not a matter of if but when litigation hits the technology. People are greedy and stupid as a whole. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

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Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:27 am
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