Even though work obligations kept Jace Larke more than 2,500 miles away from his pregnant wife as she went into labor, the couple was still able to experience the birth of their third child together.
With the aid of virtual reality using Samsung Gear VR, Jace was able to watch, hear, and talk to his wife Alison throughout every moment of the delivery as though he was physically present.
“This is going to be the next best thing. It will almost be like I’m in the room with Alison,” Jace said in an interview for a short film by Samsung Australia and Leo Burnett Sydney prior to the birth.
As soon as Alison notified Jace that she was going into labor, a Samsung team set up cameras and streaming equipment in her hospital room in Perth, Australia, which connected to the Samsung Gear VR headset that Jace would wear across the continent in the remote mining town of Chincilla.
According to Samsung Chief Marketing Officer Arno Lenior, the virtual birth experiment shows that virtual reality is “more than a toy,” CNET reported. Rather, it demonstrates “how this unique technology can address real challenges people face every day,” Lenior said.
The virtual reality birth was especially important to Alison, who opened up about the challenges the family faces with Jace’s job requiring him to be gone for long stretches of time.
“For me it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders knowing he would not be missing out on such a precious moment in our lives and we would virtually be experiencing the birth together. It has been an absolutely amazing, once in a lifetime experience that has changed our lives forever,” Alison told CNET.
The couple’s third son, Steele, arrived on February 20, 2015, as documented by Samsung’s video of the virtual reality birth.
Watch Jace experience the virtual reality birth in the video below:
Top screenshot courtesy of Samsung Australia’s YouTube Channel