Whether or not you agree with the old saying that “cleanliness is next to godliness,” in the COVID-19 age, cleanliness is paramount when it comes to preventing infection. The U.S. National Institutes of Health report that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be detected in aerosols for up to three hours and on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to three days.
That’s why it’s so vital to regularly – and thoroughly – clean all AR devices, particularly for organizations where headsets and handheld devices are shared among multiple users. We consulted with the AREA Safety Committee to learn how best to handle headset cleaning.
While no official industry best practices have been established for coronavirus cleaning (and there are no guarantees that your cleaning regimen will prevent transmission of the disease), the AREA would like to share these recommendations. They begin with separate cleaning materials and processes for each AR headset component, as follows:
Lenses and cameras can be damaged by abrasive cloths or cleaners. The Safety Committee’s advice is to unplug the camera from its power source, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Lenses get the same treatment, with the microfiber cloth applied in a circular motion, beginning at the center of the lens and moving outward.
To clean headset cushions, first remove the cushion from the headset. Take a soft cloth dampened with warm (40°C/104°F) water, gently wipe, and allow to dry at room temperature.
Hard surfaces, such as headset plastics, are where the coronavirus is likeliest to survive. The Committee recommends isolating the component, wiping with a soft cloth or cotton swab, then thoroughly wiping it down with a non-abrasive antibacterial wipe.
The preferred way to clean a headset’s electrical parts is by isolating the component and wiping thoroughly with a dry soft cloth or cotton swab.
In addition, the Safety Committee recommends avoiding exposure of devices to UV rays or direct sunlight, reducing sharing of devices when possible, and using personal or disposable covers for high-contact areas, such as brow pads.
Finally, please keep in mind that public health officials are still learning about the coronavirus and any guidance or recommendations may be subject to change. Please consult your jurisdiction’s infectious disease experts for the latest information.
The AREA Safety Committee is dedicated to identifying and prioritizing AR safety risks and recommending steps that enterprises can take to manage and reduce those risks. Visit here to learn more about the Committee, its work, and how to join.