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News hardware & software 28 July 2021, 15:38

author: Arkadiusz Strzala

Facebook Has a Problem, 4 Million Devices May Cause Skin Irritation

Owners of Oculus Quest 2 VR goggles are reporting health problems. More than 4 million devices may be affected. What's Facebook's response?

  • Oculus Quest 2 VR headset owners are reporting issues with the foam pad - skin irritation and swelling;
  • Facebook is changing its manufacturing processes and offering a free silicone cover as a solution to the problem.

Millions of Oculus Quest 2 VR devices are suspected of having a malfunction. More than 5,000 users report health problems developed while using the headset. Problems serious enough that dozens of them required medical attention. Facebook temporarily suspended sales, and organizes a customer support action, within which owners of the device can receive a free silicone cover.

The problem concerns the soft foam overlay that cushions the contact between the device and the user's face. It is interchangeable, hence the thing may also apply to accessories (such as Fit Pack). A number of buyers report that this particular element of the Oculus causes skin irritation - itching, rash, swelling or even tumors.. Some user comments suggest that the problem may be more widespread than one might think from the number of reports:

"Almost everyone I know has had to buy a foam or leather pad from another company because the one in the set causes a rash."

Here's how Facebook explains the occurrence of these problems (note the date of the information at the link - that's how long the whole thing has been going on):

"We identified a few trace substances that are normally present in the manufacturing process which could contribute to skin discomfort, and while these were already at levels below the industry standard, out of an abundance of caution we changed our process to reduce them even further."

That is, this particular element of Oculus Quest 2 may contain some irritants in trace amounts that do not exceed established standards. The message continues:

"We’ve confirmed with expert dermatologists and toxicologists that these levels are considered extremely low. While this issue has only been reported by a very small percentage of Quest 2 users, with these changes, we believe that users are even less likely to experience irritation resulting from any substances in the foam facial interface."

Facebook is responding to the complaints by offering all users a free silicone pad that can be placed over the foam pad, thus isolating it from the face. The cover will also be included with new Oculus Quest 2 kits and accessories. It also provides changes to the manufacturing process of the device that should reduce the occurrence of skin irritation. Until they receive the cover, users who experience the aforementioned issues should stop using the device.

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