Can children use Apple Vision Pro safely? Here's why you need to be careful
You need to be a certain age to use the Apple Vision Pro headset safely
Apple’s mixed reality headset is now available, but can children use Apple Vision Pro safely? According to Apple’s important safety information page, you might want to think twice before letting your kids try out your new headset.
Apple says the Vision Pro headset is designed to fit and be used by individuals 13 years of age and older and should not be used by children under the age of 13.
Children aged 13 years and older should also be supervised by an adult while using the Apple Vision Pro, as the headset won’t detect all obstacles or conditions that could lead to an injury.
You should also console your physician before using Apple Vision Pro if you are at risk of falls or seizures, or have a serious medical condition such as a heart condition.
Why children shouldn’t use Apple Vision Pro
But why are young children advised against using VR and AR headsets?
The effects of VR on developing bodies are still being researched, but a 2014 study by the University of California found that using VR can alter the behavior of the neurons in the brain, especially those that deal with spatial learning.
“We do not have enough data on the safety of current VR technology for children,” Marientina Gotsis, director of the creative media & behavioral health center at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts told Live Science. “So, the sparsity of research data and what we know about neuroplasticity [the brain's ability to reorganize itself] and children does not make me comfortable to recommend what is available now as is.”
There still isn’t a common consensus when it comes to what age children need to be to use VR headsets safely. Meta is trying to lower the minimum age for VR – which it currently advises is ages 13 and up – while HTC simply says children shouldn’t use its headsets.
Whether you feel letting your child use Apple Vision Pro is safe is ultimately your prerogative, but Apple advises against it.
Does Apple Vision Pro make you feel sick?
One of the most common side effects when using a VR headset is motion sickness. If you’re wondering whether ‘Does PSVR 2 make you feel sick?’, the answer is a resounding yes and Apple Vision Pro can cause similar feelings of nausea if you’re not careful.
Apple says that users should use Apple Vision Pro gradually to get adjusted and take regular breaks, even if they don’t need them. It also says that immersive content can have a higher probability of causing certain people to experience motion sickness.
If you do start to feel sick, wait until the symptoms have subsided before doing anything such as walking or driving a car. Apple also lets you reduce motion in some experiences by going to Settings > Accessibility > Motion, then turn on Reduce Motion.
Some people are less susceptible to the effects of VR motion sickness, but children will likely suffer more and won’t be as conscious about stopping if they’re having fun. Eyestrain and a lack of awareness of their surroundings could also lead to an accident or your Vision Pro being damaged.
Children shouldn’t use Apple Vision Pro, then, so bear this in mind before you let your kids experience spatial computing if they’re under 13 years old.