There are great tech ideas such as the Oculus Rift, and then there are ridiculously impractical and far-fetched notions such as virtual reality headsets for chickens. Austin Stewart of Iowa State University thinks that such headsets can solve many poultry issues.
The idea behind these headsets is to essentially give chickens an illusion of freedom by plugging them into virtual reality. We have seen the wonders of Oculus Rift. But if you were to sit in a tiny cubicle and asked to wear Oculus Rift to get a sense of ‘freedom’ while you real life is limited to that cubicle, you may not exactly appreciate the idea.
Austin Stewart is an assistant professor at Iowa University and he thinks that chickens may take virtual reality differently. Essentially, chickens may still live in the abysmal conditions where poultry is normally bred and kept and the livestock industries need not make any tangible improvements. But hey, we have virtual reality so we can delude the chickens into thinking that they are in vast greenlands.
It’s hard to say whether the idea itself is ridiculous or the fact that blogs and sites hailing it sound like a tad bit out of touch with the ‘actual’ reality. The suggestion of connecting chickens or any other non-human species with virtual reality may sound great as far as experimental observation goes. But to implement it for any other purpose, or any other scale, is a waste of time and resources.