This study shows that Apple Vision Pro can cause health problems

This study shows that Apple Vision Pro can cause health problems

Wearing virtual reality headsets, such as the Apple Vision Pro, can lead to a range of health problems, experts say. This creates concerns in the rapidly expanding world of entertainment technology. Here is everything you need to know.

How does VR/AR/MR affect human health?

The widespread popularity of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) headsets has raised questions about their impact on the human body, stimulating Stanford University to delve into this largely unexplored territory.

In a comprehensive study spearheaded by Jeremy Bailenson, a team of eleven testers embarked on an exploration of mixed-reality headsets equipped with end-to-end video streaming. The researchers meticulously documented the psychological and behavioral effects of prolonged gadget use, specifically focusing on devices like the Apple Vision Pro. Each participant underwent two to three sessions lasting 140 minutes, accumulating a total of 30 sessions.

Throughout these sessions, the testers engaged in a diverse array of activities, ranging from outdoor walks to casual conversations and interactive games. The results of this study unveiled several noteworthy concerns associated with the extended use of augmented and virtual reality headsets.

One prominent issue identified was the challenge of spatial orientation, affecting the assessment of body position and distance. Even seemingly simple tasks, such as eating or pressing a button in an elevator, became more demanding and required additional cognitive effort. Another significant observation was the sense of isolation reported by participants, as their perception of the environment was filtered through the display of the glasses rather than experienced directly. Despite the technological advancements in these headsets, shortcomings in the field of view, resolution, and image latency were noted, falling short of the natural capabilities of the human eye.

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Additionally, the study highlighted symptoms of simulated motion sickness experienced by participants, including nausea, dizziness, head heaviness, and discomfort in the eyes. This type of discomfort, often encountered in first-person games, originally gained recognition in the context of training pilots in flight simulators. It is believed to stem from a misalignment between the perception of body position as interpreted by vision, vestibular, and non-vestibular systems. The susceptibility to motion sickness was found to be highly individualized.

The researchers underscored the need for more extensive and in-depth studies into the physical and psychological impact of VR/MR headsets on individuals. As these cutting-edge devices become more accessible and user-friendly, the temptation to incorporate them into daily life for extended periods grows, introducing potential risks that have yet to be fully understood or calculated. The study stands as a crucial step towards unraveling the complexities of immersive technologies and their implications for human health and well-being.