We all customise our workstation: adjusting the table height, finding a comfortable chair, installing the screens and surrounding with the accessories we need for our unique work style and flow. So when it comes to using VR as a part of your professional experience you should treat your headset the same way – customise it to your comfort level so you can spend time working with it and feel good.
First things first – safety!
Make sure your environment is safe for using Gravity Sketch VR. The last thing you want to do is hit your laptop screen or step on a pencil. Remember to:
- Use a VR headset only indoors!
- Ensure you have enough space to stretch your arms in any direction without hitting furniture, windows or ceiling
- Clear out the space of any trip hazards – wires, cables, toys or pets – remove all
- Make sure to have a wall socket or USB/USB-C port nearby in case you need to charge your headsets whilst using them. If you are tethered, ensure the cable is running behind you, and you are close enough to the computer that moving won’t pull on the cable
Seated or standing?
You can use VR both seated or standing, but for longer sessions, a seated option could be more comfortable – just ensure a comfy chair that will allow you to lean back and won’t force you upright.
What is the most comfortable chair for VR, you ask? Typical office chairs are very supportive for working on a computer, but are too upright for VR, putting a strain on your neck. If you sink down in the chair to look up, you will put a strain on your lower back. Look for a reclinable chair that allows your back to be slightly angled back.
If you are standing avoid walking with your feet and teleport only by using the Gravity Sketch VR interface to minimise the risk of nausea.
Let’s get comfortable
Now, time to find the most comfortable fit for your VR headset. Everyone is different and the best way to find your best fit is simply to try different things. But here are a few tricks to help with this:
Balance the weight of the headset
Having too much weight on your face can get uncomfortable pretty quickly. To minimise this discomfort try to balance the weight of your headset at the centre of your head by giving more support from the back. Pull the back strap low so it supports the base of the skull taking away the weight from your face.
You can consider buying a third-party hard strap with soft padding and support for external batteries, which allows you to counterweight the front part of a VR headset.
The key thing is to ensure that the headset is not pressing too much on your forehead, cheeks or nose.
Adjust the lens position based on your IPD (Interpupillary Distance)
Interpupillary distance (IPD) is the distance measured in millimetres between the centres of the pupils of the eyes. Everyone is different so it’s important to set the lens position correctly in order to get a clear image in VR and minimise eye strain.
Ensure to adjust the lens position to your IPD following the headsets manufacturer's instructions. You can find your IPD by speaking to an optician or at home with these mobile apps for iOS or Android.
After setting your IPD, If the image is still a little blurry, try to adjust the headset up and down so the centre of the lens matches your pupil. Sometimes a few millimetres can make a huge difference.
Using a VR headset with prescription glasses
Firstly, try the headset with and without glasses and see what feels better. Generally, looking in VR is like you look at a distance. So if you wear glasses only for reading or using the computer, perhaps using a headset without glasses would suit you better.
If you decide to go with using glasses, try to use a special spacer which will create some extra space between the headset and the face to fit the glasses in.
Long term, it would be beneficial to get prescription lenses to insert directly into a headset. They also come with blue-light protection.
Start slow and take frequent breaks
Once you have mastered your VR set-up to perfection you should be comfortable with creating in Gravity Sketch for a longer time. Use your VR sessions time wisely and ensure plenty of breaks as you go. Some advice here:
- If this is your first time using VR – start slow. Build up your tolerance session by session starting from as little as a few mins until you eventually get comfortable spending a longer VR session.
- Don’t spend more than 45-60 mins in VR before taking a break. If you are planning a long session break it down into smaller ones ensuring at least one long break for every 2 hours.
- Control the time. It is easy to lose track of time in VR but you always keep an eye on a clock on your non-drawing hand at Gravity Sketch, or simply set up a timer to alarm you when it is time to stop and take a break.
- Do some eye exercises and general stretching when taking a break or after finishing a session. Even 2-3 minutes of basic stretches can make a significant difference over time and prevent repetitive stress injuries.
Last but not least, take care of your VR equipment
These are simple rules to maintain your headset:
- Clean the face foam or silicone cover regularly – it goes onto your face after all!
- Wipe the plastic surfaces of the headset & controllers with anti-bac wipes or a wet cloth
- Don’t use chemicals to clean the lens, use a dry microfibre cloth or distilled water misted onto a microfibre cloth
- Protect the lenses from direct sunlight to avoid damage. They are extremely sensitive to direct sunlight