VR is an ever-expanding market. Popular VR experiences include fitness, exploration, education, meditation, and of course, gaming. Adults who purchase VR headsets might notice warnings that say the manufacturer only intended the product for people over 12 or 13 years old. The weight of the headsets, available adjustments to the lens, and the nature of some experiences might make them unsuitable for younger children.
Are Any VR Headsets Suitable for Younger Kids?
Windows Central probed
the question of VR safety for young children by speaking with pediatricians. They found that no inherent properties of virtual reality should pose harm to most children, though the doctor cautioned parents to ensure children took breaks after an hour of immersion.
For instance, kids may suffer from eye strain but not understand that they need to take a break. Also, the weight of some headsets can cause neck injuries after wearing them for extended periods. And naturally, parents need to police the content their child sees, just as with computers or gaming systems.
Which VR Headsets for Kids Should Parents Consider for Young Children?
Popular headsets like the Oculus Quest 2
or Oculus Go
weigh too much for young children, and they may also not have the proper lens settings for smaller heads. Beginning at about age 12 or 13, the Oculus Go offers a good choice because it is relatively lightweight and doesn’t require external devices, like PCs or smartphones, to work. Still, it’s too large, cumbersome, and complex for most young children.
Parents still have some options for children in primary grades or even younger. Here are a few lightweight VR headsets for kids.
The Google Cardboard VR headset
enjoys an exciting history. Several years ago, CNET observed
that this headset appeared safe and user-friendly for young children. Since then, plenty of other headset makers have made their devices compatible with the app.
On the plus side, kids and parents should find this combination of a headset, lens, and smartphone easy to set up and use. Plus, it only costs about $15, doesn’t weigh much, and offers plenty of content. Google Cardboard requires an Android or iOS phone to work.
Destek VR Dream VR Headset
This Destek headset
also requires a smartphone to work, like Google Cardboard. On the other hand, the manufacturer designed this headset to appear more appealing than a cardboard box. Destek suggests the product for children as young as five years old. It costs about $40, weighs a little over 11 ounces, and offers apps for education and gaming.
Merge VR Headset
Suggested for children as young as 10 years old, Merge designed this headset with education in mind. Merge VR devices
have already made their way into schools to provide virtual field trips and lessons. Of course, Merge also provides users with plenty of games and entertainment, but this device also needs an Android or iOS smartphone to work.
The Best Extended Warranties for VR Headsets
Top VR headsets for young children all appear to require a smartphone to work. For one thing, this saves weight because more advanced, stand-alone VR headsets need to hold processing power and storage.
Even adults will comment that they are ready to give their necks a break after about an hour of using a heavy headset. And while these smartphone-compatible VR headsets don’t cost much, they force parents to trust young children with both a headset and a smartphone.
Avoid disappointment, unexpected repair bills, and hassles with a VR headset warranty
and a smartphone warranty
from Upsie. Upsie keeps warranties affordable, offers 24-7 claims, and lets customers pick local or mail-in repairs. Even better, these warranties cover damage caused by accidents, wear, or any defects the initial warranty excludes.
Best of all, Upsie’s warranties cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from manufacturers or retailers. This protection can offer parents the peace of mind to let their kids enjoy VR experiences.
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