Dad attends his son’s birth from 4,000km away with the Samsung VR

16 Mar 2015

Australian dad Jace Larke watches his son's birth. Photo via YouTube

An Australian father attended the birth of his third child last month, despite actually being 4,000km away.

Perth couple Alison and Jace Larke are the stars of a new short film released by Samsung that shows how the consumer tech giant’s Samsung Gear VR headset helped the dad witness the birth of baby Steele.

An electrical engineering contractor, Jace was faced with an unavoidable work commitment, meaning he had to be in the remote town of Chinchilla, Queensland at the time of his baby’s dude date.

“We need all the money we can, so I’m away working,” Jace explains in the video (below). “It’s tough, but in the long-term it’s definitely going to benefit us.”

With Jace unable to be with Alison as she went into labour, Samsung set up cameras, audio and streaming equipment in the mum’s hospital room, allowing Jace speak to Alison and view the room in real-time via a virtual reality headset.

“Jace was able to see our son born and experience the birth as if he was in the room with me even though he was working away on the other side of the country,” Alison said.

“For me it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders knowing he would not be missing out on such a precious moment in our lives and we would virtually be experiencing the birth together. It has been an absolutely amazing, once in a life time experience that has changed our lives forever.”

What virtual reality can do

Samsung say the couple’s story demonstrates the potential of virtual reality and how the tech can address real challenges people face every day.

“Being a father myself, I know how incredible the birth of a child is,” said Arno Lenior, chief marketing officer of Samsung.

Alison and Jace’s story is familiar to millions of Australians and the reality of being away from family and friends is a heart-wrenching experience that most of us understand. But through the power of the Gear VR technology, we could help Jace welcome his third son into the world, in an exciting, unique way. This is true innovation. This is what technology is all about; enabling human experiences.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic