Virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturers – such as Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) – have generally set a minimum age of 12 for users to be able to demo and play on their devices. This is because children are still growing, and naturally companies don’t want kids playing VR for hours at a time just in case. But this rule isn’t across the board as headsets such as Google Cardboard are utilised in schools to teach younger kids on a range of subjects. Now Merge VR has announced that its mobile VR head-mounted display (HMD) has passed more than 20 rigorous tests for approved use by children 10 and over.
The Merge VR headset is a more robust version of simple Cardboard style devices, made of a soft foam that’s more comfortable to wear, working with a range of iOS and Android smartphones.
“Our mission from day one has been to make virtual reality simple, accessible, fun, and safe for the whole family,” said Founder Franklin Lyons. “The 10+ age rating and the VR START portal emphasize that we are dedicated to making VR a fun and safe way to learn, play, and explore.”
The following safety tests for the US, Canada, and Europe were carried out to achieve the age rating:
The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety
USA Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
US California Proposition 65
Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)
EU Toy Safety Directive Testing
EC Directive and its amendments
Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH)
While there are numerous portals such as the App Store, Google Play, and YouTube to discover and download immersive content Merge VR does have its own, VR START, which highlights the best in VR apps, videogames, and 360-degrees experiences for all ages.
VR has been shown to have lots of uses in education, from transporting back in time to see ancient wonders, heading into space to learn about the solar system, or going inside the cells of plants to understand how they work.