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Home, home, on the range, where the cows in virtual reality glasses believe they actually are.
Seriously, this is a thing now … cows with VR headsets! Immersed into a bucolic world of sun-kissed pastures, with nary a cage in site. That’s reportedly what’s going on in Russia these days, where dairy farmers are experimenting with VR in hopes of creating sweeter and more plentiful milk.
According to The Moscow Times, farmers in the region have already begun testing whether VR can help improve a dairy cow’s overall emotional mood while reducing anxiety. Farmers attained “cattle-vision” by working closely with developers and veterinarians to “create unique software simulating a summer field.”
Doesn’t that vision just make you want to squeeze an udder?
While just getting the oddly stylish, specially fitted headsets to actually stay on a cow’s head would seem like reason enough to call the experiment a success, the initial study — reportedly done on a farm in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow — seems to have accomplished that and more.
“Experts noted reduced anxiety and improved overall emotional mood in the herd,” said the regional agriculture administration, per the Times.
Phase two of the experiment is where the real meat of the matter lies, though, which will test if a virtually better mood will actually make for sweeter, better flowing milk.
Apparently, the Moscow region agriculture administration looked at previous studies performed by Dutch and Scottish researchers, where classical music was piped into cow herds, producing a “soothing effect” and creating “a positive effect on milk flow.”
No word on what effect disco had.
If the second phase of testing in Moscow proves fruitful, researchers plan on expanding the experiment. Perhaps they’ll considering showing the cows the Vader Immortal VR game next round?