From : Virtual reality is coming for the cows. As announced by Moscow's Ministry of Agriculture and Food, a team of researchers and vets have developed VR headsets for dairy cows living on a farm just outside of Moscow. The reason? To convince these cows that they're standing in summer fields, rather than cold wintery ones. Not only does this calm them down and reduce any anxiety, but it ultimately makes them produce more milk.
Yes, VR is so promising as a new technology it’s even been applied to animals. Of course, the Russian cows didn't don Oculus Rifts or HTC Vives, but were rather kitted out with specially designed headsets large enough to fit their bovine heads and also durable enough to withstand farm conditions. As for the particular summer environment they were immersed in, the designers gave it a warm and predominantly red color scheme, since studies on cattle vision have shown that cows perceive the red part of the visible spectrum better than others.
Importantly, experts recorded a drop in anxiety among the cows and an increase in the overall emotional mood of their herd. As for the impact on milk yields, this will be demonstrated by a further comprehensive study, although the Ministry expects it to increase, given the well-established links between emotional well-being and milk production.
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