The story can be traced back to this (apparently severe) news release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region, which was gotten by Russian outlets like Interfax and The Moscow Times. The
reports state tests of the VR headsets are being performed at a farm near Moscow, with the (Google-translated) release noting that the goggles have been specially adjusted for a cow’s head shape and vision. VR designers were likewise reportedly worked with to develop a “distinct summertime field simulation program” for the animals to enjoy.
You might have seen these images floating around social media followed by a path of remarks like “this is the dystopian future we were alerted about” and “get in the mootrix.” They supposedly reveal an experiment being carried out in Russia to see if giving dairy cows VR headsets can minimize stress and anxiety and increase milk yield, but– as you might have guessed– it’s not clear whether this is a real trial or a sophisticated marketing stunt.
headsets, but that doesn’t suggest they need to It ‘s certainly possible that this is a real experiment. The agricultural market is as eager as any other to use new technology– simply look at the farmers using facial recognition on pigs!.?.!!– and it would not be the very first time that someone suggested VR could improve animals’ wellness. Plus, although cows don’t see like humans do, they do obviously have limited binocular vision, recommending modified VR safety glasses could work on them.
On the other hand, journalism release states the experiment wasn’t carried out by a university but by “Milknews.ru,” a news site for the Russian dairy market. It likewise encourages readers to sign up for the upcoming “VI International Agro-Industrial Dairy Forum” where they can find out more about technology in agriculture. This suggests the VR cows might just be a great way to get attention for an otherwise ordinary conference. If so: task done.
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At the end of the day, what we can say is that somebody took the time to make at least one mock-up virtual truth headset for a cow and took these pictures. We don’t require to milk the story any more than that.
We do not understand how deep this rabbit hole goes, however we’ve connected to Milknews, the Moscow Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and Rusmoloko (the business running the farm where the trials supposedly happened) to see if we can get any more details.