By Clare Duffy, CNN Business
Facebook announced Tuesday that it is temporarily halting sales of its Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset and recalling a component of nearly 4 million devices, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The company voluntarily recalls the “removable foam facial interfaces” for the devices (a piece that sits around the user’s eyes and nose and acts as a cushion between the headset and their face) after more than 5,000 users reported causing skin irritation and According to the CPSC, 45 users needed medical attention. Reactions included rashes, swelling, burning, itching and hives, the agency said.
It’s a rare memory for Facebook: CPSC doesn’t list any more for the company. While Facebook is still primarily considered a software company, Oculus headphones are an important part of its effort to popularize virtual reality technology. In addition to headphones, Facebook has spent years refining VR drivers and pushing content creators to create games and other experiences for it.
“As more people entered virtual reality with Quest 2, we began to receive reports that a very small percentage of Quest 2 customers experienced some skin irritation after using the removable foam facial interface,” he said. say Andrew Bosworth, head of Facebook’s reality labs. letter to Oculus users on Tuesday.
Facebook introduced the Quest 2 headphones, a smaller, cheaper version of its predecessor, in September. The company said for the first time in December in a blog post that a small percentage of users had skin problems after using the device and said it would investigate.
In April, the company released an update saying that its research did not show “any contamination or unexpected substances in our manufacturing process,” but rather “identified some trace substances that are normally present in the manufacturing process and that they could help upset the skin, and while they were already at levels below the industry standard, we very carefully changed our process to reduce them even further. ”
Foam inserts are included when customers purchase an Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs between $ 300 and $ 400, depending on storage options. The inserts can also be purchased individually or as part of an “adjustable pack”.
Instead of sending anything to the company, customers can order a free silicone case on Facebook that fits the foam facial interface. The company is also temporarily halting sales of Quest 2 headphones for several weeks so it can start including the silicone case in the box when shipped to customers.
“The team and I are committed to ensuring the quality of our products and the support and continued success of our developer community, with your safety and comfort as a top priority,” Bosworth said Tuesday. “The free silicone case is part of that commitment.”
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