The Null Device
Second Livestock, something which purports to be a company using virtual reality with “animal-centric design” in animal husbandry, allowing chickens to live happy and fulfilling “virtual free range” lives in efficiently small, tightly-packed spaces, much like the urban office workers who will eventually eat them:
The enclosures are built to provide a comfortable and healthy home. Omni-directional treadmills provide livestock with the freedom to move freely in the virtual world. Each enclosure has independently filtered air to keep communicable diseases and parasites from spreading throughout the facility. The birds are fed a diverse, organic free range diet.
The small and lightweight Animal-Computer Interfaces are designed to fit comfortably and allow chickens a full range of motion.
The design of our facilities allows them to be located anywhere, even in urban centers. It is even possible to retrofit an empty office building. After all, Second Livestock is modeled on human activities such as the layout of the common corporate office. A networked grid of cubicles with internet access is not far removed from the enclosures we build for our chickens. However, our chickens likely get more exercise while on the job.Second Livestock is, of course, not (yet) an actual product, but a social experiment by an associate professor from Iowa State University, intended more to start a discussion about the social implications of technology.