New VR Cover Deluxe Audio Strap Foam Replacement now available to order!
Everyone agrees that the Deluxe Audio Strap is a great addition to the Vive and massively improves comfort for extended gaming sessions. The ergonomics mean the weight of the Vive is shifted from your face to the top of your head so there is less pressure, and less need for constant adjustments. This combined with built-in headphones makes it a must-have for Vive users.
We have developed a cleanable foam replacement so that now you can share the headset with friends without having to worry about the stock foam absorbing sweat and dirt. Our foam replacement is made from artificial PU leather meaning it doesn’t absorb any sweat and is super easy to clean between sessions. We recommend wiping down the foam with antibacterial wipes for the most hygienic practice.July 31, 2017
After using your Vive for too many hours, having showed it off to too many friends and experienced a few of the less than pleasant scenarios that come with sharing a headset, it’s time to do something about it. Great, you’ve just found out we exist! We’ve been quietly adding to our HTC Vive product range for over a year and now offer eight different solutions, but which one is right for you? Here we take a look at benefits of the different products so you can make a more informed choice.
VR is great for working out. Whether you’re intentionally trying to shift some pounds or you just get a little carried away playing Holopoint, sweat is a real problem and one of the big reasons people begin looking for after-market accessories. Whereas you might assume our popular PU leather foam replacements would be best for this, we actually recommend otherwise. These three products will help to control sweating and allow you to enjoy the Vive harder, and for longer.
The disposable hygiene covers are made with a special moisture absorbing material making them perfect for sweaty VR sessions. The starter kit includes a ‘base foam’ that attaches to your Vive in place of the stock foam, the covers are then attached with a light adhesive for a secure fit. Don’t bother with the distracting, paper-thin ninja-masks.
Our Velour foam replacements are machine washable and designed to absorb sweat. The soft Velour material feels great on the skin and at 10mm it will result in an improved field of view. Sold in sets of two, when one gets sweaty just throw it in the washing machine and attach the second. Available in Grey and Black.
Our first ever accessory for the HTC Vive is still much loved by the VR community. It’s a simple cotton cover that attaches with Velcro straps over the stock foam adding an extra layer of protection. The covers absorb sweat well and are machine washable. Available in grey, red & blue.
Believe it or not, you can make your HTC Vive experiences more immersive by using thinner foam. The stock foam is attached with Velcro and can easily be pulled off, give it a try and see what it’s like to use the Vive with no foam at all – pretty uncomfortable and blurry probably but you’ll get an idea of the difference in FOV (field of view) compared with using the stock foam. These two foam replacements will improve FOV without compromising comfort too much.
HTC Vive Foam Replacement 6mm – $29.00 – Top Pick
Our highly reviewed 6mm Foam Replacement brings your eyes closer to the lenses and pushes immersion to the max. It’s made from PU leather for easy cleaning and better suited for less active experiences where you aren’t likely to sweat too much. Share your Vive with friends and family often? This is the foam for you.
As well as helping with sweat, the Velour foam replacement also improves immersion. Only slightly thicker than the 6mm PU leather variant, you will still notice a considerable different in FOV with this foam.
If you regularly share your HTC Vive, whether it’s with friends and family at home, or you plan on using it to demo to hundreds of people – hygiene has to be a major consideration. The stock foam on the HTC Vive can absorb sweat, dirt and germs that you don’t want to be sharing. Our PU leather foam replacements and covers have been scientifically tested to ensure no moisture is absorbed and the surface drys quickly using commercial antibacterial wipes.
The 14mm Foam Replacement attaches to the headset with Velcro in place of the stock foam so is simple to attach and remove. The PU leather doesn’t absorb any moisture and can be easily cleaned with antibacterial wipes between uses. The memory foam offers similar comfort to the stock foam making it perfect for demoing the Vive.
Our waterproof covers for the HTC Vive attach over the top of the stock foam with Velcro straps.The covers are designed for situations where hygiene is the number one priority. They can be submerged in water and fully disinfected making them ideal for hospitals and healthcare environments.July 21, 2017
With the new 10mm Velour Foam Replacements we find a balance between comfort and field of view. The super soft ‘Velour’ fabric and memory foam ensures maximum comfort for long gaming sessions but is thin enough to result in an improved field of view, meaning more immersion. The foam is easy to clean, just throw in the washing machine after a particularly sweaty session and air dry. The HTC Vive Memory Foam Replacement Velour 10mm is now available through our store in black or gray and costs $29.00 for a set of two.
We also add to our store the Universal Headset Cover. The cover is designed to protect lenses from sunlight damage as well as keeping out dirt and dust. It’s compatible with all major VR headsets, just remember to switch the headset off first before you attach the cover otherwise you might trip a proximity sensor. The Universal Headset Cover is available in black or navy, add a cover to your order for just $5.00.
Lastly, we introduce the new VR Cover T-shirt range. We start with two designs, each has limited availability so be fast. Shirts are made with a high quality cotton/ poly blend and printed in house, available now for $19.00 each.June 26, 2017
In 2014 we first began producing hand-sewn cotton covers for the Oculus Rift Developers Kit. We’ve come a long way in the past three years, here we take a look back at the path we’ve taken from the first hand-made products to foam replacements and finally disposable covers.
Not long after the release of the HTC Vive in 2016 we began to offer cotton covers which were an instant, overwhelming success. Anybody who used their Vive for more than a few hours every day soon began to realize the stock foam could easily become unhygienic by absorbing sweat, oil and dirt. For personal use, cotton covers that attached over the headsets foam padding were the perfect answer due to the comfort and sweat absorption they offered.
After the success of cotton covers we went on to design foam replacements for the Vive and later the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. The main benefit of using foam replacements is the ease of use and customization allowed. We created foam padding with PU leather for easy cleaning, with cotton fabric for comfort and with thinner foam for improved field of view. In the case of the Oculus Rift we had to first design a custom facial interface that allowed foam replacements to be attached, it’s now a must-have accessory for Rift users.
At about this time, others began looking for their own solutions, an example being the infamous VR Ninja Masks that originated in Japan. Disposable masks create a simple barrier between the face and headset, the main benefit of them is that they’re cheap to produce. Unfortunately the paper thin material doesn’t stay in place well and can easily become distracting, it is also not good at absorbing sweat. Creating a solution for high volume environments such as VR arcades was our next aim and after testing hundreds of prototypes we decided on our new disposable hygiene covers.
What makes our disposable covers special is the sweat absorbing properties of the materials used along with a stick-on design that means no distractions while playing. This makes disposable covers the perfect choice for VR arcades who have thousands of people using the same headset each year, there’s no clean-up required by the owners and the customers can be confident they are not sharing germs. PU leather foam replacements offer some benefits, in that they’re easy to clean, however, imagine you’re just getting into a game of Holopoint on a hot summers day and begin to feel the sweat dripping down your face, this is where our disposable hygiene covers come in and allow you to keep playing harder and for longer without distractions.
VR fitness is the other main industry that has started to adopt the disposable hygiene covers. One of the main problems with current VR work-out experiences is sweat. If using PU leather foam replacements you are covered with regards to hygiene, but again, they don’t help with sweat dripping down the face or even worse, into the headset. Early results have shown that our disposable hygiene covers offer huge benefits to virtual reality exercise and will be a necessity for any gym looking to experiment with VR.June 15, 2017
Most people associate virtual reality with 360° videos and immersive gaming but the potential applications of VR go way beyond this. Companies have been experimenting with simulation and the virtual world to offer training and education to professionals as well as therapy to patients from as early as 1994. It’s getting to the stage where high end VR systems such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are becoming more affordable and more developers are seeing the potential in the healthcare industry. Applications can be generally split in to three categories: medical training & education, clinical healthcare, and the consumer market.
Medical Training & Professional Education
In April 2016 Dr. Shafi Ahmed performed the world’s first operation broadcast around the world via virtual reality. Broadcasting in VR allowed anyone from around the world with a headset to experience what it’s like to be in the operation theater. Viewers ranged from medical students, trainee surgeons and inquisitive members of the public who wished to immerse themselves in a real life procedure. As patients now have more choice over who they wish to perform a procedure, it becomes harder for trainee surgeons to gain real experience. In this regard virtual reality helps to offer some realistic experience without having to stand in the OR room. If you’re interested in witnessing a surgeons job up close, the app ‘ VR in OR’ is available for download on Google’s Playstore.
Aside from watching in on surgical procedures VR is being incorporated into simulation-based training and is advancing current telementoring technologies. AiSolve and Bioflight recently worked with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on a program to help give experience to medical students in responding to emergency trauma situations. Aside from mirroring the pressure of a real-life emergency, the experience is responsive and allows the user to make a series of choices that affect the end result. As well as giving students experience and a feel of these real life situations, when compared with traditional training experiences such as those that require an expensive dummy model and a room full of people who wait their turn and are guided by a teacher, the virtual reality training is much more time and cost effective.
Virtual Reality has been used to treat patients for more than two decades. Treating post-traumatic stress disorders has been one of the main uses and generally involves exposure therapy which involves gradually exposing an individual to situations that might trigger symptoms. There’s been a lot of research on VR and it’s benefits to PTSD, however it is only now that headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are more accessible, that developers and healthcare providers are really taking notice.
VRIT is the first academic clinic that is dedicated to therapeutic immersive technologies. They are focused on helping patients who have experienced trauma and have sensory, motor, and cognitive symptoms. Dr Kim Bullock a neuropsychiatrist at Stanford University has been using the HTC Vive as treatment to chronic pain problems since 2016 and has expanded the research to other areas of clinical healthcare. Pain therapy is the idea is that the worst pain can be alleviated by manipulating the way the human mind works: the more you concentrate on pain, the worse it becomes. Overload the brain with sensory inputs such as with virtual reality – and its capacity to process pain and to be conscious of it, goes down.
At the moment consumer apps generally focus on fitness and wellness. Users now have a choice of more than 20 meditation based applications on the Steam VR store for the HTC Vive. Similar apps are also widely available for the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Apps like DunkTank VR don’t even require an expensive headset and are compatible with cardboard headsets that use your smartphone. Mobile VR has it’s limitations with users generally being guided through experiences that aren’t exactly immersive and don’t have much interaction involved but as the premium headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift become cheaper and more accessible to the general population there will likely be a significant growth in wellness apps that offer better interaction – and a more tempting reason for users to consider trying meditation and other wellness practices.
Virtual and Augmented Reality is in its youth and still has many hurdles to overcome before it’s adopted by the masses. 2017 has seen the prices of major headsets drop, making them more accessible to consumers and to healthcare providers. One of the challenges that VR Cover seeks to solve is hygiene. Using a VR device involves pressing equipment to your face, sometimes for long periods of time which can mean bacteria and dirt is easily transferred between users.
In 2016 reports emerged of users catching pink eye after being to a virtual reality exhibition. Although the cause couldn’t be definitively identified it has shown the dangers of spreading germs and made users more aware of hygiene issues.
VR Cover have developed several solutions included replaceable, sanitizable PU leather foam replacements that are suitable for healthcare environments. However, it’s the recent release of Disposable Covers that has really helped. The disposable covers are a convenient and cost effective way for hospitals to share VR equipment between users without having to worry about the spread of germs and bacteria. The disposable covers are designed for the HTC Vive however will also work with the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, they attach to the headset with an adhesive ensuring a secure fit with no distractions for the user.June 11, 2017