Facebook has announced it is temporarily pausing sales of its Oculus Quest 2 headset globally as it addresses reports that the foam portion of the headset that rests on the skin has caused "mild" skin irritation for a "very small percentage" of users.
Facebook Reality Labs head Andrew Bosworth said following initial skin irritation reports in December from "about 0.01% of people using Quest 2" and an investigation by the company, Facebook has decided to take a couple of steps to address the issue.
"While the rate of reports is small and the majority of reported cases are minor, we're committed to ensuring our products are safe and comfortable for everyone who uses them," he said.
In an open letter of Oculus users, Bosworth said the company will be introducing a new silicone cover to all customers globally, including as part of a joint voluntary recall of the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada.
The new free silicone cover will be available to anyone who already owns a Quest 2 or a Fit Pack, and it can be fitted over the Quest 2 removable foam facial interface. Users can request for the new cover directly with Oculus via their Oculus account. Users will need to supply their headset serial number and an address in a supported country for shipping.
The supported countries include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
"The team and I are committed to ensuring the quality of our products and the ongoing support and success of our developer community, with your safety and comfort as our top priority," Bosworth said. "The free silicone cover is part of that commitment."
In addition, the company has decided to temporarily pause sales of Quest 2 globally, while it works to include the new silicone covers in all Quest 2 packages. These are expected to hit shelves on August 24.
Bosworth also assured that based on advice from "leading dermatologists and toxicologists" the company's "manufacturing process is safe, meaning no unexpected nor hazardous contaminants were found in the Quest 2 foam interface or manufacturing process".
These further steps come after the company reported back in April that its investigation "did not find any contamination or unexpected substances in our manufacturing process".
"We identified a few trace substances that are normally present in the manufacturing process which could contribute to skin discomfort, and while these were already at levels below the industry standard, out of an abundance of caution we changed our process to reduce them even further. We've confirmed with expert dermatologists and toxicologists that these levels are considered extremely low," it said at the time.