Content Highlight of the Week: A world-first live streaming virtual reality (VR) birth


How times have changed. When my Mum was born her father didn’t know she’d arrived (nor that she was one of twins) until two days after her birth: due to work and general lack of telecommunications.

Fast forward a few decades (sorry Mum) and we can experience the world’s first ‘virtual reality birth’ thanks to the Samsung Gear VR technology, which can melt 4,000 kilometers in the blink of a digital eye. Samsung’s snazzy new bit of kit (which does look rather like a particularly clunky pair of scuba goggles) transports a worker from Chinchilla, a remote Queensland town, to be virtually at the birth of his third child in a Perth delivery room. The film of the story spares us most of the agonies of childbirth, instead sharing the backstory of the two parents and moving swiftly to the arrival of the pinky purple bundle of joy: thanks to the goggles. Tech officially ‘humanised’, strategic ambition achieved, although I think a few more tears could have been wrung out of the audience for my money. Live births are a gift in that way.