In brief: This week, Meta announced a set of new parental controls it’s bringing to Quest VR headsets over the next few months. These will allow parents to monitor and control what Quest apps their kids use. This comes after Meta introduced other new safety features in its VR applications in response to sexual harassment complaints.
Meta has revealed three new features it’s working on to make parents feel safer about what their teens — the company maintains that users must be 13 and older to use its products — are using their Quest VR headsets for. It promises this is only the beginning of its work on parental controls.
Starting in April, Quest owners will be able to lock individual apps behind an unlock pattern if they find them inappropriate for younger users. Currently, they can only lock the entire headset behind that feature.
Later, in May, Meta will start to automatically block younger users from apps based on their age ratings. Parents will be able to unlock individual apps if they’re fine with their kids accessing them.
Around that time, the company will also launch a parent dashboard on the Oculus mobile app, which will include various functions to give parents more control over what their teens access.
The app will let parents view what their teens download, approve or deny all downloads, view a teen’s friend list, block specific apps, monitor a teen’s screen time, and block a teen from linking the Quest to a PC. More features are to come in the future.
The VR parental controls are just one part of a new “Family Center” Meta unveiled this week which includes parental controls for Instagram as well as an information hub for parents.