A world-first live streaming virtual reality (VR) birth has let a father experience a life-defining moment he otherwise would have missed: the birth of his son. Using the Samsung Gear VR, Australian Jason ‘Jace’ Larke welcomed newborn Steele Larke with the aid of a technological first.
Larke works as an electrical contractor and was committed to work in Queensland, Australia, on the due date of his third child. Despite being 4,000 kilometres from the delivery room, Larke was able to experience the birth in real time. A short film has been produced to tell the family’s emotional story, available below.
Speaking about her experience, mother Alison Larke said: “After we found out I was five weeks pregnant with our third child, we watched our baby grow, found out he was a boy and dreamed about what the future may hold. Then at 30 weeks pregnant, Jace’s contract roster was confirmed and it was more than likely he would miss the birth our baby, pending a miracle. But that’s exactly what we got.
“We were given the opportunity to be involved in the Samsung project. Jace was able to see our son born & experience the birth as if he was in the room with me even though he was working away on the other side of the country. 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 life time experience that has changed our lives forever.”
The short film, entitled Samsung LifeLIVE, follows the story of the expectant Alison (Perth) and Jason (working in Chinchilla) with key moments including Alison preparing for the birth, when Jason sees his son for the first time (with the Gear VR headset), and when Jason returns home a week later and holds his son for the first time.
Arno Lenior, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung, said: “As one of the leaders in technology innovation, Samsung wanted to demonstrate the potential of virtual reality and how this unique technology can address real challenges people face every day. Through Alison and Jason’s story, we’re excited to be able to demonstrate how technology can help tackle the tyranny of distance and bring our loved ones closer.”
The witnessing of the birth of Steele Larke via VR is the latest in a long stretch of world’s firsts made possible by the reinvention of the medium. The short documentary, Samsung LifeLIVE, is available below and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the land mark innovations brought about by the new medium.