The Virginia Zoo is taking a big step toward bridging the physical and digital worlds. Partnering with ECPI University and augmented reality company Life Preserve, it’s creating a more immersive experience for today’s technology-oriented visitors.
Working under the supervision of Dean of Academic Technology Gerry White, ECPI University students have created a tour that features 12 stops around the Zoo and provides a learning adventure about the animals, their counterparts in the wild, conservation efforts for the species, and even behind-the-scenes footage.
“We are excited to partner with Life Preserve and ECPI University to leverage technology to further enhance our visitor experience,” said Education Manager, Michelle Lewis. “This exciting tour provides guests with an insider’s look into our animals. Photos and videos allow visitors to explore and discover even if the animals cannot be seen on exhibit. Plus, there is a text feature for any guests who may be hard of hearing.”
“It has been so exciting to work with the Virginia Zoo on this project,” says Mr. White. “By using emerging technologies such as mixed and augmented reality, we can help bridge some of the gaps between nature and the digital environment of the internet. Instead of using technology to escape, now we can connect the real world inside the mobile landscape, allowing visitors to more actively engage with the animals and exhibits in a familiar, fun and exciting way.”