Have you ever tried out virtual reality like the Oculus Rift? Facebook bet huge on the technology when it purchased Oculus VR for a cool $2 billion. One day very soon, humans could be enjoying movies, playing games and even consulting a doctor face-to-face.
But have you ever thought about the benefits of virtual reality for chickens?
An ISU professor has. TechCrunch reports:
One project from Iowa State University assistant professor Austin Stewart (via FastCo Exist) imagines how VR goggles could make chickens believe they’re free-range, even when they’re not. They can explore a virtual grassland, and with future iterations of Oculus, even peck at the ground and bob their heads around to take in the landscape at different angles.
This is an artist's rendering of what the project - called Second Livestock - would look like.
Now, after you pick your jaw up off the floor, you should know that this researcher's tongue is firmly in his cheek. While the Second Livestock website looks perfectly straight-faced, it's actually making a satirical point. If you're asking why the chickens can't just be allowed to roam free instead of this ridiculous virtual reality concept, that's the idea.
Stewart is actually trying to say that often the tech industry can offer up convoluted and complex engineering solutions for what ought to be simple and intuitive problems. That being said, he's stated he's open to actually making this strange and funny gadget a reality.