Oculus, which is one of the biggest virtual reality headset manufacturers globally, has issued a recall for the foam padding in the Quest 2 VR headset.
This follows some reports of skin irritation. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 5,716 reports of “rashes, swelling, burning, itching, hives, and bumps”, although only 45 of these cases were serious enough for medical attention.
The Facebook-owned technology company said that only a “very small percentage” of the 4 million customers that had purchased a Quest 2 virtual reality headset had experienced problems, but is still advising users to be cautious.
Additionally, Facebook is offering a free silicone cover to anyone that owns a Quest 2, although many customers have already bought silicone covers from other online retailers. Premium replacements with thicker foam or leather are highly popular.
It has also paused all sales of the product and has issued a voluntary recall. Users can request a replacement facial interface by visiting the Oculus website.
For the small number of people affected by skin irritation, Facebook has launched a product replacement service. And, following discussions with safety regulators in the US and Canada, Facebook will be emailing many of its customers to inform them of the recall.
Oculus products are priced much lower than its competitors, who often include more accessories and more expensive materials. This strategy has meant higher sales of VR gaming devices, especially in the run-up to Christmas 2020.
From 24th August, new Quest 2 headsets will include a new version of the silicone cover. This revamped headset will also include twice as much internal storage without an increase in price.
Head of Facebook’s VR and AR Andrew Bosworth said: “While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we’re committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them.