vrKid is a virtual reality headset designed especially for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old. The headset has the shape of a hippo and its helmet design secures safe use for children and will protect them when they move around in their physical surroundings while using the device.
“It’s closely related to what we do in my company.” “If you buy this you’re the kind of parent who would rather sit and watch TV than spend time with your child.” “In 2-5 years this will be completely normal.” “You just can’t use vr for children that young. They wouldn’t understand.” “I would definitely get it for my 2-year-old daughter. My only concern is that I might have to convince her about the hippo thing.” “You know, she might prefer something like a dragon.”
The helmet has a slide-in part for the smartphone in the front. The phone goes in from the bottom and is securely locked in place by turning the teeth of the hippo, which are connected to hooks on the inside. A hole through the hippo’s nostril allows the camera to catch the surroundings for augmented reality apps. To avoid wires for the safety of the child, the helmet has built-in bluetooth headphones. The headphones have soft cushioning and can be charged with micro USB.
The size of the helmet is adjustable with a turning wheel in the back, taking into account the growing head sizes of babies and toddlers. The adjustable strap furthermore ensures that the helmet always stays in place while in use. The overall concepts for three simple vrKid apps were made to create an idea of how the device could potentially be used in a real world context:
“But do you really think the children can tell the difference between what they see and the real world?” “I would understand using the vrParents app if, say, you have to go away for like 6 months to work at an oil platform or something.” “I guess I’m a bit conservative at that point.” “I also work with teaching-related VR apps for young children. Information sheets with photos were sent to VTech as a product proposal for their company, which specialises in technological toys for children. They never sent a reply.”
“I just love hippos. They look so cute, but they’re actually really dangerous.” “Now I wonder why I’m so open-minded.”
All quotes are reactions to vrKid from the push.conference 2016 in Munich.