Monday, March 4, 2024

Meta’s VR Headsets Have a Sweat-Sharing Problem – Slashdot

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It’s the busiest shopping season of the year, but one item that doesn’t appear to be flying off store shelves is Meta Platforms’s Quest brand of virtual-reality headsets. Part of the reason is that many shoppers aren’t comfortable trying one on in a store. From a report: The headsets are prone to collect dirt and grime and smear your makeup. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, people were especially resistant to put them on in stores, even though Meta paid to have cleaners on hand to sanitize the headsets between each use, said a former Meta employee who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.

The health emergency is over, but many people are still weirded out by the idea of putting on a VR headset in public. Meta sells the Quest in the US through the stores of mobile carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. The thinking was, people are already trying out and buying other gadgets there. But picking up a phone that other people have touched feels different than strapping something to your face that other people have strapped to theirs. In-store sales of Quest headsets at mobile carriers’ locations are very low, according to former employees of Reality Labs, the division that builds Meta’s VR products.

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