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The Dangers of Mobile VR - Updated information

alimasri
Level 2
I posted this on Reddit and I thought I'd post it here as well to get your feedback;
I'm not sure how much consideration is put into this, but it's definitely something to be wary about because of mobile radiation, especially when we're talking about prolonged use.

I mean you're strapping a cell phone right in front of your eyes for a couple of hours to watch a movie, which is not what it was initially intended for. I'm just hoping nobody gets any tumors or brain cancer from all of this.

Some people using the Durovis Dive have reported issues of fatigue and pain using it for longer than 10 or 20 minutes.

Am I being unreasonable here? Check out these links:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-cell-phones-can-cause-brain-cancer/

http://www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/executivesummary

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/03well.html

I guess if you absolutely have to use it for long periods of time perhaps switching it to airplane mode might be a good idea. Not sure if it's the right solution though.

Edit:
Also found this while doing some more research:



Edit 2:

From Samsung's "Online version of the Health/Safety and Warranty guide":

"If there is a risk from being exposed to radio frequency energy (RF) from cell phones - and at this point we do not know that there is - it is probably very small. But, if you are concerned about avoiding even potential risks, you can take a few simple steps to minimize your RF exposure.

• Reduce the amount of time spent using your cell phone;
• Use speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between your head and the cell phone."

and I finally found out the SAR rating for the Note 4 (AT&T version):
SAR Value: Head 0.95 W/Kg
SAR Value: Body 1.53 W/Kg

The FCC legal limit is 1.6 W/Kg

http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones/SM-N910AZKEATT-specs
30 REPLIES 30

Gerald
Level 4
" to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer."

from your cancer.gov source

"Am I being unreasonable here?"

no, but there is no indication to be worried either. maybe we soon have brain tissue growing out of our ears to direct connect with the Gear, but I guess that "smartphone holders" will only be a shortterm thing that will be replaced by sunglasses factor solutions long before there is any chance to do a longterm effects study.
sunglasses with buildin earphones connected to a smartphone far away from your brain - likely even cabled just because it saves power.
check out my Mobile VR Jam 2015 title Guns N' Dragons

Jotokutora
Level 5
It will take for VR to grow substantially, for the justification to subject its effects under scrutiny. Even then it may take several years to get preliminary results, then more years to have a full view of long term effects.

Just be diligent and you should be OK mate.

Afuerg
Level 2
Why not use Airplane mode?

arnoudh
Level 3
When I am making a call, the phone is much closer to my head than when it is mounted in my GearVR. I don't see the issue in regards to VR when compared to regular phone use.

vrcover
Level 3
"Afuerg" wrote:
Why not use Airplane mode?


This is actually a very good point. Anyone know how this is handled in the Samsung Gear VR? Suddenly getting a phone call might be a bit tricky 😄

robertson2014
Level 2
"Gerald" wrote:
" to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer."

from your cancer.gov source

"Am I being unreasonable here?"

no, but there is no indication to be worried either. maybe we soon have brain tissue growing out of our ears to direct connect with the Gear, but I guess that "smartphone holders" will only be a shortterm thing that will be replaced by sunglasses factor solutions long before there is any chance to do a longterm effects study.
sunglasses with buildin earphones connected to a smartphone far away from your brain - likely even cabled just because it saves power.


No you are correct however I am pretty sure you will find a government study that says cigarettes are good for you somewhere 🙂

The official line is no they are fine when in fact there have been documented court cases proving the link between health problems and mobile phones or EMF in particular but this is suppressed from the general public much like the government are paying out millions to the families of children damaged by vaccines but making them sign secrecy agreements so then can continue to deny the link to the general public and keep up the illusion they really care about your health and not
profit.

cigarettes = health problems = money to be made
cell phones = health problems = money to be made
vaccines = health problems = money to be made

see a pattern

This is a REAL danger and one that can also be proven by brain scans where you can actually see the area of the brain heating up with use of the phone. Like all things one small dose will do nothing however prolonged use over a very long period will. Its quite funny people deny this yet never read the safety instructions with their phones where it does warn of this in the very very small print. Meanwhile handing their 4 year old and IPhone blasting their undeveloped brain with radiation.

Sorry small rant but YES I completely agree and this needs to be a major consideration. This is also the reason I will never buy a wireless VR headset. I would rather have a longer cable then fit hooks to my ceiling so the cable hangs down letting me move around with no issues than buy a mobile radiation emitter strapped to brain.

alimasri
Level 2
The FCC imposes S.A.R. (Specific Absorption Rate) rating on cell phone manufacturers for a reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_absorption_rate

From Wikipedia's SAR page:

FCC advice

The FCC Guide, "Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) For Cell Phones: What It Means For You," after detailing the limitations of SAR values, offers the following "bottom line" editorial:

"ALL cell phones must meet the FCC’s RF exposure standard, which is set at a level well below that at which laboratory testing indicates, and medical and biological experts generally agree, adverse health effects could occur. For users who are concerned with the adequacy of this standard or who otherwise wish to further reduce their exposure, the most effective means to reduce exposure are to hold the cell phone away from the head or body and to use a speakerphone or hands-free accessory. These measures will generally have much more impact on RF energy absorption than the small difference in SAR between individual cell phones, which, in any event, is an unreliable comparison of RF exposure to consumers, given the variables of individual use."

If you guys think this is something to dismiss as just another conspiracy theory, then I guess we'd just have to wait until people start to complain of getting serious headaches from using the Gear VR for long periods of time.

There should be at least some sort of consideration to the matter. I'm a huge fan of everything VR, but health and safety should always come first.

Jotokutora
Level 5
Hello Alimasri, I do not think anyone here is dismissing your concerns. Actually, it is good that you have come forward with something of relevance.

Since you have stepped up on the subject, what solution(s) would you want addressed by Oculus, or at least look further into to?

That said, I have a feeling they are also studying the effects of VR, which you can see when Palmer stated, that VR is a sitting experience.

Alex1S
Level 2
"robertson2014" wrote:
"Gerald" wrote:
" to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer."

from your cancer.gov source

"Am I being unreasonable here?"

no, but there is no indication to be worried either. maybe we soon have brain tissue growing out of our ears to direct connect with the Gear, but I guess that "smartphone holders" will only be a shortterm thing that will be replaced by sunglasses factor solutions long before there is any chance to do a longterm effects study.
sunglasses with buildin earphones connected to a smartphone far away from your brain - likely even cabled just because it saves power.


No you are correct however I am pretty sure you will find a government study that says cigarettes are good for you somewhere 🙂

The official line is no they are fine when in fact there have been documented court cases proving the link between health problems and mobile phones or EMF in particular but this is suppressed from the general public much like the government are paying out millions to the families of children damaged by vaccines but making them sign secrecy agreements so then can continue to deny the link to the general public and keep up the illusion they really care about your health and not
profit.

cigarettes = health problems = money to be made
cell phones = health problems = money to be made
vaccines = health problems = money to be made

see a pattern

This is a REAL danger and one that can also be proven by brain scans where you can actually see the area of the brain heating up with use of the phone. Like all things one small dose will do nothing however prolonged use over a very long period will. Its quite funny people deny this yet never read the safety instructions with their phones where it does warn of this in the very very small print. Meanwhile handing their 4 year old and IPhone blasting their undeveloped brain with radiation.

Sorry small rant but YES I completely agree and this needs to be a major consideration. This is also the reason I will never buy a wireless VR headset. I would rather have a longer cable then fit hooks to my ceiling so the cable hangs down letting me move around with no issues than buy a mobile radiation emitter strapped to brain.

You are just another conspiracy nut.

Vaccines are the only thing keeping humans from crumbling into chaos of 100-fold increased child mortality. Sure, some vaccines are unnecessary (like flu), but vaccines given to babies are essential. Sure, sometimes vaccines have bad side effects, but rejecting their positive effect is madness.

There has never been any scientific consensus that cigarettes were good or neutral for your health. Don't make things up.

Mobile phones may heat your brain a bit, similar to a range of other heat sources. I may be dangerous when keeping a phone close to the head for hours, but as far as I know it has not been extensively tested. If you want to be on the safe side when using Gear VR, just put it into airplane mode.