New UL standard to address augmented, virtual and mixed reality

November 05, 2019 //By Rich Pell
New UL standard to address augmented, virtual and mixed reality
Safety science company Underwriters Laboratories (Northbrook, IL) has announced that it will pursue a new standard addressing safety for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR).

As part of the development process of the new UL 8400 standard, the organization is seeking equipment and component manufacturers, suppliers, and others associated with the AR/VR/MR industries to participate on the Standards Technical Panel that will draft the Standard. Areas of key concern, say the organization, include weight and neck strain, optical radiation, eye heat exposure, and headset motion-to-photon latency.

"With the mass adoption of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality equipment," says Ibrahim Jilani, business development director, Consumer Technologies, UL, "balancing design and technology innovation with operational and product safety can be a challenge. UL's goal is to keep safety in pace with innovation."

Once developed, says the organization, UL 8400 will be one of the world's first standards dedicated to the safety of spatial computing and extended reality equipment. The development of UL 8400 will use the existing technical requirements of UL 62368-1 - a safety standard developed to mitigate risks of electrical and fire hazards in audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment.

The new standard is being developed in response to predicted AR/VR/MR market growth, with some analysts forecasting that consumers will be using more than 100 million AR/VR/MR headsets and smart glasses by 2023.

"With the growth in AR/VR/MR products, such as head-mounted and holographic displays and VR simulators," says Jilani, "comes a need for consistent safety standards that provides clarity to manufacturers and addresses gaps in safety testing in the absence of a standard dedicated to the technology."

Those interested in providing input for the development of UL 8400 and joining its Standards Technical Panel are asked to contact Deborah Prince, standards program manager, Underwriters Laboratories, at Deborah.Prince@ul.org.

Underwriters Laboratories

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