Beating the January blues with virtual realityJanuary 11, 2022
With Blue Monday fast approaching, we came across an amusing vision-based method to beat winter depression. Could an artificial view on life be better for this time of year?
Change your view
When dairy cows feel unhappy, their milk yield tends to fall, and during the winter, when herds in the northern hemisphere are kept in barns and sheds to protect them from the worst of the January weather, stress levels amongst the animals can rise. Izzet Kocak, a farmer from Turkey, is tackling this with the aid of Virtual Reality. He has fitted two of his cows with VR headsets which create the effect of the bovine viewer being outside in a field instead of cooped up in a barn. Kocak has reported that milk output from these cows has increased from 22 litres to 27 litres a day, and he’s planning to invest in more headsets.
The headsets were developed by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and are adapted from a standard VR headset made for humans. However, as cows’ eyes lack a red color receptor, making them red/green color blind, software had to amend the color palette of the green fields to suit the cows’ dull range of gray, blue and yellow vision. This limited spectral range also leads to over-compensation when interpretating contrast so cattle may see shadows as either an object or the absence of an object (i.e. a big hole in the ground) and you can begin to understand why being inside a building for days on end might be stressful! Their eyes only have binocular vision for the 25-30° right in front of them so they’re also very poor at perceiving depth, therefore a VR headset is an easy win for confined cows!
Adjust your vision
While we hope you have a cheerful start to 2022, it’s good to know that developments in imaging could help to make our world a happier place! Read more computer vision news on our website, and follow us on social media for the latest AI and vision-related updates.
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