2 min read

Why VR Needs to be More Comfortable

We’re shipping more VR devices to people than ever before. IDC projects a 43% increase in VR headset shipments next year (2023). But getting devices in people’s hands is just the start of making the metaverse a regular part of our lives. We need to use them too.

Data On VR Usage

The data around VR device usage is pretty sparse. Nothing too current, but we have a few stats from prior years:

  • In 2019, IDC reported the average VR user spent 6.2 hours per month in their device.
  • The average VR session length in 2019 was 19.7 minutes (source), and 32 minutes in 2020 (source).

I’d like to think these numbers have come up since then. Although there’s only anecdotal evidence to support this. This interesting Reddit thread on peoples’ VR routines suggests power users will spend anywhere from 1-3 hours per day in VR on average. A couple of them are even working in their headsets and thus spend upwards of 8 hours per day in them.

My Oculus sessions typically run until my battery dies, so 2-3 hours. And I do that about 3-5 times per week. So I’d estimate I spend 30-40 hours in Oculus monthly. Still, I likely fall into the power user category of users.

This is nothing in comparison to other screens. Americans spend ~3.5 hours on TV screens and ~4.25 hours on mobile devices daily.

Naturally, better content and better software will all help make the case for using a VR headset more. But there’s also problems with the hardware.

For VR to become a significant contender against other screens – and for users to be able to easily spend long periods of time in the metaverse – there are some base comfortability and usability features that need to be fixed.

Custom Oculus Face Pads

In order to spend significant time in VR, we need to feel comfortable having a one pound weight on our face and a screen two inches from our eyes. There are multiple companies creating custom VR lenses for people that need prescription glasses or have light-sensitivity. Meta just launched the Oculus Active Pack which is supposed to help manage sweat better. And now there’s a custom solution for the Oculus Face Pad.

TheMagic5 has created the world’s only custom-fit Oculus Interface, which allows Oculus owners to get a customized Face Pad that fits their face perfectly.

If you’ve spent any time in the Oculus then you know how good it feels to take your headset off. That’s because the standard Face Pad is one-size-fits-all. Depending on your face shape, the headset either sits heavy on your nose, cheeks, or forehead – leaving marks on your face. Ultimately, this is a major reason why VR usage stats are so low.

That’s why I’m excited for TheMagic5’s custom Face Pad solution. I think their product overall will help push the metaverse further along in adoption.

For a limited time during TheMagic5’s Kickstarter campaign, anyone that reserves a custom Oculus Interface will get a free chapter of The Metaverse Handbook and early-birds get a free Audiobook version of The Metaverse Handbook.

TheMagic5 has been making custom fit swim goggles for years, using their proprietary facial scanning technology to measure the unique contours of the face and design a one-of-one product for the face. Now, they’ve applied this technology to the Oculus headset.

In order for us to truly experience what the metaverse has to offer – whether that’s games, fitness, social, productivity, or entertainment – we cannot be stifled by headsets that don’t fit or put us in discomfort. The Oculus interface is our window into the metaverse. So if the interface isn’t enjoyable, then the metaverse won’t be enjoyable.