SYDNEY, Australia – 15 March 2015 – A world-first live streaming virtual reality birth (VR) using Samsung Gear VR* has let an Australian father experience a life-defining moment he otherwise would have missed: the birth of his son.
Perth couple, Alison and Jace Larke, welcomed their third child, son Steele Larke, to the world on February 20. However, Jace, a ‘fly in, fly out’ electrical contractor, faced a hard decision when an unavoidable work commitment required him to be in Queensland on the due date: take the job and miss the imminent birth of his third son, or refuse it and remain in Perth with his heavily pregnant wife Alison, but miss out on the contract work.
Although in Chinchilla, a remote Queensland mining town, using the Samsung Gear VR headset*, Jace was able to experience the birth in real time, almost as though he was standing in the Perth delivery room – 4,000 kilometres away.
A short film has been produced to tell the family's emotional and poignant story. The documentary-styled piece addresses a universal challenge that resonates with millions on a daily basis: the impossibility of being in two places at once.
Speaking about her experience, Alison said: "After we found out I was five weeks pregnant with our third child, we watched our baby grow, found out he was a boy and dreamed about what the future may hold. Then at 30 weeks pregnant, Jace's contract roster was confirmed and it was more than likely he would miss the birth our baby, pending a miracle. But that's exactly what we got.
“We were given the opportunity to be involved in the Samsung project. Jace was able to see our son born & 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. 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."
Arno Lenior, Chief Marketing Officer of Samsung, said: “Being a father myself, I know how incredible the birth of a child is. 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.
“As one of the leaders in technology innovation, Samsung wanted to demonstrate the potential of virtual reality and how this unique technology can address real challenges people face every day. Through Alison and Jace’s story, we’re excited to be able to demonstrate how technology can help tackle the tyranny of distance and bring our loved ones closer.”
Samsung LifeLIVE follows the story of the expectant Alison (Perth) and Jace (working in Chinchilla, 300 kilometres Northwest of Brisbane) with key moments including Alison preparing for the birth, when Jace sees his son for the first time (with the Gear VR headset), and when Jace returns home a week later and holds his son for the first time.
The film can be viewed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PpKzYjW7go&feature=youtu.be
* Requires additional multiple camera recording and streaming equipment to achieve the VR effect with Samsung Gear VR. Samsung Gear VR is an accessory to the Galaxy Note 4, sold separately. Conditions apply to the use of Samsung Gear VR. See www.samsung.com/au/gearvrinfo for more information.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and helps shape the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also a leader in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Smart Home and Digital Health initiatives. We employ 307,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, please visit our official website at www.samsung.com and our official blog at global.samsungtomorrow.com
Edelman for Samsung Australia
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Edelman for Samsung Australia
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