With help from BBH London, Samsung Electronics has launched a live VR storytelling app called Bedtime VR Stories, which is designed to have a parent and child read together inside a VR world when they can’t be physically together. They each wear VR headsets and can talk to each other—and see a version of each other—inside the world as they read together. (The app uses a combination of VR and Voice over Internet Protocol—or VoIP—technology.”
Bedtime VR Stories launches with a single tale, titled “The Most Wonderful Place to Be.” Parent and child sit on a magical bed during the five-minute experience and visit three places—the Arctic, where they meet Jen the Penguin; a prehistoric world featuring Dan the Dinosaur; and outer space, where Robot Jo treats them to a musical finale.
Check out the 360-degree walkthrough here:
It’s a very cute experience, as long as you don’t mind bonding with a floating purple ball instead of your actual parent. But snark aside, my kids would actually love this—and of course, the creative will only get better over time.
There will also surely be critics who dismiss any kind of virtual parenting as second-rate, though for parents who are on business trips—and not just working late at the expense of their families—Bedtime VR Stories will beat the typical chaotic Skype session any day.
The prototype technology is being tested with select families in the U.K. It’s part of a larger global Samsung initiative called Launching People, which the company describes as an effort “designed to help consumers unleash their potential and create meaningful change through the use of Samsung technology.”