The enjoyment of immersive expertise is that it permits customers to get nearer than ever earlier than to places, objects and even animals they might in any other case not have the ability to. That is what Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is doing with a plan to leverage digital actuality (VR) and beacon expertise to assist provide guests a extra immersive zoo expertise, as reported by GeekWire.
This integration of expertise to supply a quantity immersive experiences is not any solely designed to deliver guests nearer to the animals but additionally to get a have a look at them behind-the-scenes. That is getting used primarily on the brand new Assam Rhino Reserve which is residence to 2 higher one-horned rhinos named Taj and Glenn. Guests will have the ability to placed on a VR headset and expertise a full 360-degree video showcasing the each day lifetime of the rhinos. That is introduced from the perspective of a caretaker and provides viewers an unique have a look at every little thing from the dietary wants of the rhinos to seeing their “rain room” the place it showers. This venture was created in partnership with Oculus and its staff based mostly in Seattle.
As Tej and Glenn have taken over an space which was beforehand residence to elephants, the assets which might of been used to construct a brand new residence or re-adapting one have as an alternative been spent on the expertise. “It’s a 100-year-old zoo,” Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Alejandro Grajal stated. “A lot of the behind-the-scenes areas are usually not actually accessible or protected for folks to see. So what we’re doing with expertise is we see it as an enormous alternative for us to point out the sort of care that goes on behind the scenes.”
“The shocking half about zoos — not solely this one, however nearly all zoos — is that essentially the most fascinating a part of what occurs within the zoo — the care, the veterinary care, the coach, the keepers — all that occurs behind the scenes,” Grajal explains additional. “After I inform folks that now we have a commissary that prepares meals that’s bigger than most industrial kitchens and we get bales of natural hay and crickets and frozen fish and human-quality natural fruit — most individuals don’t have any mindset of what it takes to feed 1,700 animals on daily basis.”
The VR expertise is just not able to be made publicly accessible simply but because the pilot program goes stay directed in direction of managed teams of holiday makers. Their reactions to what they see and really feel is a part of the overarching analysis the zoo is finishing up to see whether or not the expertise can improve empathy in folks, making them extra prone to take pro-conservation motion.
Guests can even have the ability to expertise a brand new “Rhino Lookout” function, which includes using Bluetooth beacons which have been positioned discreetly all through the rhino space. In partnership with Bellevue based mostly Footmarks, the beacons are getting used to assist push digital content material to guests smartphones by the zoo’s cellular utility. That is getting used to supply as a lot data as attainable to guests with out protecting the zoo in signage, making all of it all the way down to the person how a lot they wish to dive into the expertise inside the cellular utility.
“On the web I can publish all of this content material. However right here, you’re not simply going to plaster screens in every single place,” Rebecca Whitham, Director of Content material and Inventive Technique, Woodland Park Zoo explains. “You need that second-screen expertise, you need that capacity so as to add one other layer of content material with out essentially taking away from that have of wanting on the animal. If something you wish to heighten that have.”
Because the Woodland Park Zoo continues to discover what advantages they may give guests with immersive expertise, VRFocus will be sure you deliver you all the most recent so keep tuned for extra.