Should you be concerned about health and safety with Apple’s mixed reality headset?

Home » Should you be concerned about health and safety with Apple’s mixed reality headset?
Should you be concerned about health and safety with Apple's mixed reality headset?


Apple’s Reality Pro headset is almost upon us, and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has shared an interesting new tidbit. According to Gurman, Apple will provide warnings about using the mixed reality headset for a number of medical conditions. To better understand the topic, we’ve compared what’s been reported to Meta’s health and safety warnings for Quest headsets.

First, we’ll highlight some of the healthy and safety warnings Apple provides before using an iPhone. The company warns that the iPhone can cause distractions that could be deadly, lead to discomfort or injury from prolonged exposure to warm surfaces, or interfere with medical devices, especially for implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.

“If you have any medical condition or experience symptoms that you believe could be affected by iPhone or flashing lights (for example, seizures, blackouts, eyestrain, or headaches), consult with your physician prior to using iPhone,” says Apple.

The iPhone isn’t exactly a mixed reality device, however, so let’s look at the Meta Quest 2 policy. Meta includes a similar warning about medical device interference, but the headset hardware also includes further warnings about specific medical conditions.

“Consult with your doctor before using the headset if you are pregnant, elderly, have pre-existing binocular vision abnormalities or psychiatric disorders, or suffer from a heart condition or other serious medical condition,” says Meta.

The Meta Quest 2 comes with a seizure warning as well.

Some people (about 1 in 4,000) may have severe dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns. This may occur while they are watching TV, playing video games, or experiencing virtual reality, even if they have never had a seizure or blackout before or have no history of seizures or epilepsy. These symptoms arise more commonly in children and young people. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should stop use of the headset and see a doctor. If you previously have had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition you should see a doctor before using the headset.

Meta also warns against using the Quest 2 under a handful of other conditions:

  • Tiredness or exhaustion
  • Need sleep
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Hung-over
  • Have digestive problems
  • Under emotional stress or anxiety
  • When suffering from cold, flu, headaches, migraines, or earaches

The Meta Quest Pro has slightly different wording with a similar warning.

Consult with your doctor before using your VR System if you are pregnant, elderly, have pre-existing binocular vision abnormalities or psychiatric disorders, have recently undergone any medical procedure (including cosmetic procedures), or suffer from a heart condition or other serious medical condition.

So what about the Reality Pro headset? Mark Gurman has the scoop.

“If you’re prone to inner ear infections, have ADHD/ADD, anxiety disorders, a pacemaker, epilepsy, blackouts/seizures, or are pregnant, you may be warned against using the headset,” Mark reports. “In addition to Meniere’s disease, past traumatic brain injuries, post-concussion syndrome, migraines.”

Make of these warnings what you will, but Mark is spot on when he explains why Apple may be more specific with its list of conditions to consider before using the product.

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