Virtual reality could very well be the future of video gaming. As graphics have become more realistic, gamers have become increasingly eager to immerse themselves in the worlds in which they play. The original Oculus headset was a game-changer.
At roughly twice the price of less robust consoles, it provided a headset and manual control devices that allowed people to experience three-dimensional virtual reality environments and play complex games using their whole bodies.
The headsets also allow people to experience things they otherwise might not, as the headset can integrate with Google Maps and allow people to virtually travel to places they might never be able to visit. The newest generation of the Oculus is smaller and cheaper. Unfortunately, it is also subject to a voluntary recall.
Why are consumers complaining about their Oculus headsets?
More than 5,000 people have reached out to Facebook, the company that manufactures and distributes the Oculus gaming system, about skin irritation due to the foam pads on the headpiece. At least 45 people have required medical attention due to severe reactions. People have reported swelling, rashes, hives and itching. Some people even say the skin contact with the foam cushions built into the devices causes a burning sensation.
The company estimates that about four million units will be part of the recall. The issue is serious enough that Facebook has even halted the sales of the gaming system until they correct the issue. The company has maintained since April of 2021, when complaints started gaining public attention, that the foam meets consumer product standards. They also assert that they have done checks that determine there is no material contamination.
However, the company has committed to reducing the supposedly appropriate levels of the known skin irritants in the foam inserts for the headset. Consumers who have already purchased the system can contact Facebook to receive replacement silicone pad covers at no price. The recall does not require that consumers return or ship back the units.
Why the Oculus recall is worrisome
Skin irritation may seem like a minor concern, but people can have severe adverse reactions to skin irritants. Those who wind up hospitalized or potentially disfigured because of a skin reaction could have a legal claim against Facebook for the dangerous facial pads used in the newer generation of the Oculus system.
Consumers who know their rights when injured by defective products will have an easier time standing up for themselves even if they have to face off against one of the biggest companies in the world.