Besides the actual moment of birth, few joys in the world come close to the magic of a baby’s first ultrasound; those initial, blurry glimpses are enough to move even the most reserved of parents to tearful smiles. If a rough, black-and-white, 2D image can do this, then what emotions could a VR ultrasound unlock? Samuli Cantell, the creative director of digital product studio, Adventure Club, is on a mission to find out.
How I met my daughter before she was born, Adventure Club’s latest project, saw the team make a 3D VR experience for the baby being carried by Cantell’s wife. In collaboration with GE, a 4D ultrasound system manufacturer and Aava Medical Centre, the studio was able to transform the baby-to-be into a predictive 3D model, which they then transported into Unity, and finally into a VR realm. Umbilical cord intact, the baby floats inside of a cosmic, star-filled womb, gently hovering around the space to a serene, meditative soundtrack.
Beyond a personal desire to see their own child in an immersive scenario, the project also originated from an already ongoing exploration at Adventure Club: “Our company is experimenting with new technologies all the time. Recently, we had been experimenting different ways to use VR in healthcare, and my wife was pregnant so this idea came to me,” Cantell tells The Creators Project. “One goal of the project was to create something in VR that felt really personal, and to see how this immersive way of experiencing could make it even more personal.”
Unfortunately, How I met my daughter before she was born can only be viewed by the general public in project stills, although the Adventure Club team has more ambitious prospects for the future: “This iteration was a family-only thing, but we are hoping to create a service in this vein at some point,” adds Cantell. “At the moment, it looks like it would be a bit too expensive of a service, since it needs a lot of professional, manual work with the 3D model. But when the scanners develop further, I think this could be the ultrasound of the future.”