We definitely live in the future now. By strapping on a headset and holding two simple controls, you can be immersed 360 degrees in a virtual reality, complete with stunningly crisp audio, intense and realistic graphics before your eyes, and an interactive environment that reacts to your hand gestures, head turns, and physical movements. Nothing makes you feel like a Sci-Fi hero come to life quite like that.
Until you blindly trip over your coffee table and eat the floor.
The downside to virtual reality is having your eyes and ears cut off from reality outside the headset. Even professional YouTube stars that specialize in handling this high tech entertainment gear have fallen victim to a few bumps, bruises, broken decorations or equipment, and even a few nasty falls.
Here is how to make your apartment virtual reality safe, so you can enjoy the digital without harming the physical.
1. Move Furniture Out of Your Way
First things first, clear a VR space in your living room or bedroom. The more secluded you are from any main room with an abundance of decorations or furniture, the better. One with fewer windows you have to worry about smacking as you bat away a digital enemy is best. Once you’ve picked a spot, arrange the furniture so you have a nice space to move around in without worry — and if you think it’s enough, make it bigger. Believe us, you will get carried away and make broader movements.
2. No Glass in the Room – at All
Glass is not only easy to break – and their goes your priceless family heirloom – but it’s incredibly easy to injure yourself with. When playing with VR, don’t take any chances. Clear the room of any glass coffee tables you may trip and fall into, any decorative blown-glass statues or figurines, and any lamps that are especially smackable. If you are playing a game that requires a lot of gestures with your hands, consider taking down mirrors or pictures and stacking them off to the side. In the end, having a great time without the stress of hitting anything is more important than the effort of putting them back up — or bandaging your hand when it’s gushing blood from the cut.
3. If You Can’t Move it, Pad it
If you have a studio apartment where your furniture can’t go far, or some furniture is too difficult to move every time you want to boot up your VR, instead take to padding all of their hard or sharp edges. You can DIY your way into safety by cutting a long slit into a pool noodle, fitting it around your coffee table, and then taping it on for good measure. If you’d like something more professional, several stores have pads specifically designed to baby-proof hard furniture that look more stylish. Let’s be honest; you’re about as well coordinated as a baby with that headset on.
4. Build Yourself a Soft Barrier
If you have several couches or other soft furniture such as recliners, arrange them so that they’re boxing you in, outlining the amount of room you’re free to move in. If you can’t use furniture, be sure to choose something strong enough to take a bump, soft enough not to hurt or be hurt, and something heavy enough that it won’t move and crash into something else should you hit it. This creates a soft barrier around you, so when you bump into the couch, you know to stop – no harm done – rather than running into a wall because you didn’t realize how far you’d shifted out of your designated area.
5. Wear Soft Shoes
The only thing worse than stubbing your toe is breaking something with your thick shoe. Wearing socks won’t protect your feet from any surprise collisions, and strapping on your sneakers or steel-toe boots will only ensure whatever you have hit misfortune of kicking isn’t getting out unscathed. Instead, wear softer shoes such as Crocs — if you don’t already have a buddy to spot you, then don’t worry, there’ll be no witnesses — or water shoes, which are spongier than most.
With a few adjustments to your apartment, you can have a space to safety enjoy VR in. But remember, if you’re sharing the place with a roommate, then there are new stumbling blocks to consider — they have to deal with your antics as well. Here are some Tips on Living With a New Roommate so you can both enjoy the space without conflict, during game time and outside of it.