Skip to comments.Oculus Rift for caged chickens is like a Matrix for farm animals
Posted on 05/30/2014 7:15:57 AM PDT by null and void
We want to the animal audience.
Assistant Professor Austin Stewart from Iowa State University is proposing an end to the depressing, systematic lifestyle of caged chickens ─ not by setting them free ─ but by equipping them with Oculus Rifts and omni-direction treadmills before streaming their consciousness into a virtual world called Second Livestock, a play on words off of the massive online social game Second life.
Strapping on a chicken-sized Oculus Rift allows the bird to walk virtual fields alongside other chickens, doing all manner of poultry-related activities; if the chicken found a tasty morsel of virtual-food while scouring the virtual dirt, then it would be rewarded with actual food in real-life. The idea is similar to what was put forth in the film The Matrix and can theoretically provide chickens with at least a semblance of living in an open field, even if it theyre confined into small cages.
No chicken has yet to test to system, although humans can do so themselves using a human-sized Oculus Rift and a yoga ball as a trackpad at the Art and Design Exhibition in Ames, Iowa, where the project is being demonstrated. The demo version of Second Livestock even contains a virtual farm, chicken, as well as bushes and dirt.
Of course this sounds absurd, because in a large part it is no industrial farm would actually invest in technology that costs more than the poor animal itself. Stewart tells the Ames Tribune that Second Livestock is not an real-life application, but a concept, a thought experiment to get us (the humans) asking questions. "The goal of the project is to raise that question of how do we know what's best, or what is humane treatment, and also to look at how we treat ourselves. We're living in these little boxes, just like chickens."
Stewart wants to know if technology can be used to end inhumane treatment, or provide alleviation, and at what point do we become enslaved by it in the process of doing so? The exponential levels of immersion shaped by the Rifts semi-credible VR capabilities are proving to be useful in many-a domain outside of entertainment, enabling bed-ridden grandmas to walk outside once more and helping old fighter pilots relieve their glory days. The technology is maturing from toylike novelty to something that can deliver a real value. Its only natural to see how far we push it without compromising our humanity, or poultry.
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just let them roam out in an open area? Just seems like a waste of electronics and electricity to me....
Reminds me of “Redneck Rampage”....
Wouldn’t it be cheaper and simpler to accept that they’re one of the dumbest, tastiest animals on earth, and at the end of the day we’ll be slaughtering and eating them no whether they roam or not?
I just sent this to my daughter. They are getting some chickens. They like to keep a-breast of the latest technology....................
Assistant Professor Austin Stewart from Iowa State University has waaaay too much time on his hands....................
Electronics have a way of getting smaller and cheaper... If this could be ‘sprayed’ on the eggs before hatching it would work...
Yeah, really. They are bloody chickens. Chickens are bloody stupid (and then so are cows and sheep). We bred these creatures to be moronic and docile so they would be easy to raise for eating. Only a complete loon would spring for a VR set up for a chicken.
What I would like to know is where the heck is money for this idiocy coming from? (let me guess-government grant)
The only “latest technology” you need are door/light timers, automatic feeders/waterers, and electric fencing.
And the winner of the coveted 2014 Dum-Basse Award is...
Seems like the Chinese are working hard to feed us human waste and ‘matrix-ing’ our minds into thinking it is chicken or steak, all on our dime.
You watch. His next government grant is going to be trying to prove that chickens who wear these devices and “lead more meaningful lives” taste better and are more nutritional.
If it makes them taste better, I’m all for it.
I’m guessing that two things that are not seen in this virtual chicken world are old, blade-scarred tree stumps and bloody hatchets.
“Yeah, really. They are bloody chickens. Chickens are bloody stupid (and then so are cows and sheep). We bred these creatures to be moronic and docile so they would be easy to raise for eating. Only a complete loon would spring for a VR set up for a chicken.
What I would like to know is where the heck is money for this idiocy coming from? (let me guess-government grant)”
You mean like what liberalism is doing to our children? Remember, Soylent Green is people!
All I need is for my chickens to start playing Grand Theft Auto. Imagine getting jacked by poultry.
And WAAAAY too much wacky tobacky at his disposal.
*Shrug* I don’t care either way. Just saying if they want chickens to have experience as a real chicken, it’d be cheaper to let them “free-range.”