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Samsung has unveiled a new virtual reality application, Bedtime VR Stories, that it is calling “the future of children’s bedtime.” By using the app with compatible VR headsets, parents can enter virtual worlds with their children and narrate stories to them.
It’s still in the prototype stage and is being tested with select families in the UK. The company says the app isn’t designed to replace the physical bedtime storybook, but is a way for parents who are away from home to spend time with their children.
“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,” said 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.”
In the promotional video, the parent is seen wearing Samsung’s Gear VR headset and the child is sporting a Google Cardboard headset; this is because Samsung recommends its device isn’t used by anyone under the age of thirteen, whereas Cardboard has no minimum age limit (though it does advise that children should only use the headset with adult supervision).
Response to the app has been mixed; some say it’s a great way for parents who are working away to interact with their kids, but others argue that having a bright phone an inch away from a young child’s face isn’t healthy, and it certainly won’t help them fall asleep.
You can watch the entire first story, ‘The most wonderful place to be,’ as a 360-degree YouTube video below.