When building immersive virtual reality training, the focus tends to be on developing and delivering the experience itself. However, there are other aspects of a successful VR training program to be considered – managing your VR hardware. This include more maintenance and logistics to your equipment and processes’ for short and long-term success. In the next couple of blog posts, we review the behind-the-scenes management and preparation needed for a successful VR program. Let’s start with storing your VR headsets and keeping them clean for employee use.
Keep your VR hardware safe: Storing your VR gear
When deciding how to store your VR hardware, consider how many VR headsets you have on-hand, how often you utilize them, and whether they are wireless or tethered to a computer.
For example, if your organization has three headsets used exclusively for new hire onboarding, you could get hardshell cases or individual wall hangers or stands. Hardshell cases work well if your VR experience is a small part of the overall training experience. These cases fit wireless or tethered headsets and controllers and protect them from damage. The hardshell cases are easily stored in cabinets, drawers, or on shelves. If you prefer to keep tethered headsets close to the PC, consider a single mount stand or mounting option with a hanger.
If your organization has ten or more headsets used daily, storage options change. With a quick Google search for “VR Headset Storage,” you find quite a few options available for any potential storage need. More extensive collection storage options include wall-mounted cabinets, large roller carts, or storage tubs. If your VR headsets are wireless, make sure your storage solution has charging capability.
VR hardware storage solutions should accommodate the number of headsets you have, their charging needs, ensure they stay accessible when needed and protected between uses. Your storage solution should fit your locations and be flexible enough to accommodate your workforce regardless of location.
Keep your VR hardware clean: Sanitizing your VR equipment
Good hygiene and user safety are essential parts of a successful VR training program. VR hardware requires users to touch, hold, and wear various components for proper function. Regardless of the number of potential users, consistent cleaning and handling practices will reduce germs and keep the units clean.
Start by cleaning the entire headset using antimicrobial, alcohol-free disinfecting wipes. Wipes work on all sections, hard or soft, of the headset. Ensure all of the areas where users contact the headset, including any sites that touch the face, or a user might grab onto through regular VR use. Don’t forget to wipe down the controllers and the lenses as well. To clean the lenses, use the same type of wipe or cleaning solution you might use for eyeglasses, while controllers can be cleaned with the same kind of wipes as the headset. Make sure you clean all areas before and after each use.
One of the areas that become most difficult to clean over time includes the soft or fabric areas. They are more difficult to wipe down, and during some VR experiences, users may sweat, causing additional cleanliness issues. To protect against this, invest in cloth or silicone covers. A quick Google search for “VR cloth cover” provides a wide variety of disposable one-use cloth options and more permanent silicone face cover options. The disposable cloth cover is a one-time use option that users put on the headset before the experience and dispose of after. It offers a barrier between the user’s skin and the device.
A more durable option is a silicone cover that attaches directly to the VR headset. It covers the cloth areas on the headset that directly contact the users’ skin. This cover provides a non-absorbent material that is easier to clean in between uses and can be used repeatedly.
For the best results, research a VR hardware sanitizing solution that works for your organization. Keep in mind the earlier considerations mentioned for storage, including the number of headsets and frequency of use when choosing a cleaning and sanitizing solution. These considerations guide you to a manageable and effective process. It is also important to note that the cover options work in tandem with the cleaning strategy outlined above. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. Using both provides longevity for your equipment and supports a safer user experience.
More to come
Storage and sanitization are just two pieces of the puzzle when implementing and maintaining a successful VR program. In the next blog, we explore what type of training space users need for an optimal VR experience. What does a portable VR set-up look like and how is it implemented, and how can you best support employees’ VR training at a distance?
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