Samsung streamed a baby boy's birth to a virtual reality headset worn by his father nearly 2,500 miles away, in what it's calling the first birth ever live-streamed using VR. Samsung set the stream up for a man who, as its ad says, had work that took him out of town during his child's birth, with the intention of giving him something close to the experience of actually being there. Of course, VR is still quite a ways away from that — this is more like a glorified webcam, allowing the headset wearer to turn their head and look around the room. Except, unlike a webcam, there are giant VR goggles over half of his face.
The birth was streamed from one side of Australia to the other, captured by a multisided camera placed in the delivery room. Obviously, it was also all captured by Samsung as part of a promotional campaign for Gear VR, which makes it somewhat less intimate. Yes, it's very Samsung. And yes, a webcam probably makes more sense (it would, after all, let the mother see his entire face in return). But it's hard to argue too much with using tech to bring people closer together — even if this use is debuting as part of an overproduced ad.