Samsung filmed a birth in virtual reality so an Aussie FIFO dad could watch it live

Never one to shy away from trying new things to show off its products, Samsung filmed the first birth in virtual reality, live-streaming the event across Australia so that a father could witness the birth of his son in real-time.

The video, clearly designed to show off the non-gaming uses of Samsung’s Gear VR, tells the story of Jason and Alison Larke, two parents who live in Australia. Jason, the father in the video, works as an electrical engineer who must take “fly in, fly out” contracts in order to support the family. These contracts often keep him away from home for weeks or months on end, and that’s where Samsung comes in.

Using a special camera that captures multiple angles of a room, Samsung filmed Alison as she gave birth to their third son, simultaneously livestreaming the footage almost 2,500 miles away to where Jason was working. By putting on a virtual reality headset, Jason was then able to look up, down, and around the delivery room as the birth took place.

Of course, while this was likely far more immersive than a traditional Facetime or Skype video call, The Verge points out that Alison wouldn’t have been able to see Jason’s entire face during the live stream, as the virtual reality goggles obscure most of your face while you’re wearing them.

While Samsung tries to strike a hopeful tone with the video by highlighting how the technology of the future will connect us in new ways, you can’t help but think that both Alison and Jason would have preferred Samsung to simply pay for a roundtrip flight so they could be physically, rather than virtually, together during the event.

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