As it stands, the world is striving to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic caused by a virus that depends on close proximity between people to thrive. We hope to return to an atmosphere of normalcy, but we are faced with a number of challenges. We can no longer interact with one another the way we used to. In addition, hygiene, both personal and general hygiene, has become of utmost importance. The WHO (World Health Organization) has made the importance of hygiene clear through the measures stated in their guidelines: frequent washing of hands, social distancing and overall hygiene.
In the quest to resume activities we used to carry out, we are threatened by a second wave of the pandemic which could ruin any chances of returning to life as we used to know it quick enough if we do not pay attention to our hygiene.
This new reality poses a danger when it comes to VR devices moving into a post-COVID world. Poor hygiene of VR devices used in different spheres of life could lead to further spreading of the virus, in turn elongating the pandemic. However, all hope is not lost. There is an apparent way out and that way is to improve VR hygiene practices and incorporate them into our routines.
How do you do this? How do you ensure proper hygiene is maintained in a field that requires the sharing of devices between persons?
Practices to Keep VR Devices Clean
Practices that can be employed in making VR devices clean and hygienic are split into 2 phases –the basic practices and the advanced practices.
- Washing of Hands: Before you use any VR device and even after use, ensure you wash your hands properly for a minimum of 20 seconds. This reduces the chances of contaminating a VR device or being contamination from contact with a VR device.
- Availability of Disposable VR Mask Covers: One thing that could be put in place to encourage the use of VR headsets for persons who have second thoughts about putting on the headsets on their faces directly, particularly those putting on makeup. This availability of disposable VR mask covers should not deter other practices of maintaining the hygiene of VR devices.
- Standard Cleaning Process: This process simply entails a visual check of VR devices and accessories, a wet cleaning process and a dry wipe to conclude. These three steps are very essential and it not effective except carried out thoroughly and completely.
- Disinfect VR Devices: You can disinfect all VR devices by wiping them with disinfecting wipes thoroughly. This is necessary so that pathogens do not stay on the surface of these VR devices. However, in doing this, there is one thing you need to keep in mind and that is the fact that some disinfecting wipes are harsher on the skin than others. So it is advisable to use milder disinfecting wipes that are more skin-friendly as supplements in cleaning VR devices. This should be a priority for VR locations.
- Washing of Equipment: There are some of your VR devices that are electronic and so you cannot afford to wash. While this is the case, there are others that might need to wash as often as necessary. You need to wash parts like the face pads and the headset straps.
- Replace Necessary Parts: As a result of the frequent washing, some parts of your VR devices will need to be replaced. The more frequently the washing, the more frequently you will need to change these parts.
- UV-C Technology: This is a method that is highly effective. UV-C technology uses ultraviolet rays to kill germs off surfaces. The UV-C rays do not make use of just ultraviolet rays, they are designed to specifically use medical-grade ultraviolet C rays. Carrying out this practice reinforces the defence line against germs and infections, protecting your customers.
Leading the way with UV-C technology is CleanBox which features a fully encompassed case that users can put their VR headsets inside. Their system then uses UV-C rays to remove all bacteria that may be on the devices. They are labelled as the “smart tech hygiene for the disinfecting of AR/VR HMDs, communication headsets, small electronics, eyewear & masks.”
For more info about their products check out their website at https://www.cleanboxtech.com/
Beyond all of these, one thing is paramount and that is the fact the customers must gain the assurance that all measures possible are being taken to ensure their safety and well-being. This comes down to incorporating these practices into your work routine. The staff must understand that it is now a priority to main proper hygiene of VR devices by cleaning and sanitizing them regularly. It is now up to everyone to make it their duty to put these cleaning standards in place and follow them effectively. This will boost the confidence and assurance that customers have concerning their health and safety being regarded in high esteem.
In summary, this pandemic has brought a new reality upon us and this new reality can be pretty challenging. Despite the difficulty it poses, we have to adapt. We may not have a life as we used to but we must do things differently. The health of customers has become a top priority and the customer must be assured of that fact.
Based on every practice listed above, you need to create your checklist and be sure to have every item checked.
- Facilities for washing hands should be provided
- Disposable VR mask covers should be made available
- The standard cleaning process of visual check, a wet cleaning process and a dry wipe to conclude should be stringently carried out by the staff
- Disinfecting wipes should also be available at locations for sanitizing VR devices
- Equipment that can be washed should be washed as often as possible and they should be replaced as at when due
- Invest in devices that use UV-C technology in disinfecting VR devices.
- It might sound a little trivial, but it could be necessary to consider putting up signs that will guide customers on the hygienic processes they can carry out themselves
- The staff also need proper orientation as to how to effectively maintain these hygienic standards and guarantee the customers of their safety and wellbeing
Moving forward, in the post-COVID world, some things will eventually normalize but some others are here to stay like the importance and value placed on health and the role hygiene has to play in maintaining it. These practices are required to maintain the health of customers even as more events begin to unfold.