We have seen our fair share of examples on how Oculus Rift has managed to change the way humans interact, not to mention even providing a dying grandmother with the chance to experience the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of her own home, but will animals appreciate such an experience? This particular project from Iowa State University imagines how Virtual Reality goggles might work on a chicken, tricking it into believing that it is free-range, even when it remains cooped up in a lab. Forget about Second Life, we are referring to the brilliantly named Second Livestock.
In Second Livestock, the chickens will be able to explore a virtual grassland, and with upcoming changes made to Oculus, will be able to fulfil their instinct of pecking at the ground while bobbing their heads around in order to check out the landscape at different angles.
Do bear in mind that this seemingly bird brained scheme (pun not intended) is more of a social experiment than anything else, so do not expect to see our future livestock all wearing a form of modified Oculus as they explore the virtual world. The visuals might be there, but the lack of real world interaction with physical items would play havoc on the chicken’s brain, don’t you think so?