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UL Pursues Enhanced Safety for Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality With Announcement of UL 8400

UL will pursue a new Standard, UL 8400, addressing safety for augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

Women with virtual reality goggles
November 4, 2019

NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS – Nov. 4, 2019 – UL, a leading global safety science company, announced today that it will pursue a new Standard, UL 8400, addressing safety for augmented, virtual and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR).

As part of the UL 8400 development process, UL Standards- part of Underwriters Laboratories, the nonprofit entity within UL- 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.

The announcement was made by Ibrahim Jilani, business development director, Consumer Technologies, UL, at the 2019 VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver. At the event, Jilani highlighted areas of key concern including 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, 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,” said Jilani. 

Once developed, 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 utilize the existing technical requirements of UL 62368-1, an existing safety Standard developed to mitigate risks of electrical and fire hazards in audio/video, information and communication technology equipment.

The development of UL 8400 is concurrent with and in response to predicted AR/VR/MR market growth.  The combination of more affordable, compact devices, advances in 5G and Wi-Fi six technologies and skilled software developers has made this area ripe for growth—with 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, 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,” Jilani said.

Anyone interested in providing input for the development of UL 8400 and joining its Standards Technical Panel should contact Deborah Prince, standards program manager, Underwriters Laboratories, [email protected]

*Gartner’s 2019 Unified Retail Retailer Survey

About UL

UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development, to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit UL.com.

About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. We foster communities of safety, from grassroots initiatives for neighborhoods to summits of world leaders. Our organization employs collaborative and scientific approaches with partners and stakeholders to drive innovation and progress toward improving safety, security, and sustainability, ultimately enhancing societal well-being.

We fund our work through grants, the licensing of standards documents and the business activities of our affiliate, UL Inc., which also advances our shared mission through its testing, inspection, audit, certification, verification, advisory, training, analytical and digital application services. For more information about our nonprofit activities, visit UL.org.  

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