Samsung pushes VR into children’s bedtime stories
Samsung builds prototype app to help remote parents connect with their children at bedtime
Virtual reality (VR) has long been associated with gaming or watching movies, but now Samsung is working towards using VR to help parents read bedtime stories to their children if they are miles away, calling it the "future of children's bedtime".
The company has unveiled a new prototype app dubbed Bedtime VR Stories that "combines the latest innovations in virtual reality with the power and importance of traditional storytelling" using the Gear VR headset. Samsung is not suggesting VR should replace traditional bedtime stories, but instead it has been designed to enable parents who may be away to place them and their child in the same virtual environment.
Samsung has released a video showcasing how the idea works. It shows the parent wearing a Gear VR while the child wears a Google Cardboard headset, which is decorated with one of three available character masks; Jen the Penguin, Dan the Dinosaur and Jo the Robot.
Together they enter the same virtual world; in this case the parent reads the "Most Wonderful Place to be", and together they travel between three "magical places" whilst sitting on their bed.
"Parents will be able to tell their children a bedtime story like no other with both parent and child transported to far flung worlds and galaxies, interacting with dinosaurs, arctic animals and robots," explained Samsung.
"However far apart they are, parents will be able to share that all-important bedtime story with their child, using VR technology to connect them in the same virtual world. The child will even hear their parent reciting the story and be able to interact with their parent as though they are in the same room."
Whilst the idea enables parents to connect with their children, concerns around children using such technology before bedtime can potentially disrupt their sleep, make them feel dizzy and the overall experience may not be relaxing enough for unwinding children before bedtime.
The apps is currently being tested with select families in the UK.