To you, a pet is just a friend. But to them, you’re everything. While you can’t truly feel their emotions, the closest you can get is to imagine how they perceive the world through virtual reality.
On 3 October, in conjunction with World Animal Day, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SPCA) is working with local startup Presence Pictures to create one such experience.
But rather than showing you the rainbows and unicorns of pet ownership, the VR exhibition will touch on the harsher reality of what it means to be a responsible pet owner. The aim of the exhibit is to let visitors emphatise with the fears of an abused animal and let you see from the dog’s perspective. Adding to that is the presence of someone pacing outside the cage, and you not knowing what awaits you if the cage is open.
The VR experience also includes a scenario for would-be pet owners to realise the dire consequences of uncontrolled animal birth due to the lack of sterilisation. Sure, kittens and cats are cute. Perhaps three is a good number. Give it time and you’ll see what happens when your apartment is invaded by a horde of felines. It’s probably not a pretty sight and you’ll have to see it to believe it.
All of this is achieved with an iPhone with the aid of Presence Pictures' custom head-tracking algorithm. The experience lasts for 90 seconds, and is only available during the SPCA event.
The VR experience will run this Saturday, 3 October, from 10am to 8pm at The Cathay. If what you see touched your heart and you sense the calling to adopt from SPCA, there’s also a pet adoption drive during the event.