Virtual reality has many different use cases which have yet to be fully explored. In China, the technology is being trialed to increase interest in Guangdong’s largest animal park. Benefits of VR technology explore interaction with animals which would be otherwise impossible and provide a different type of experience to visitors. So far, the visitors have responded positively to this new trial, and virtual reality may make its way into other zoos around the world in the future.
Interacting With zoo Animals in Virtual Reality
While most people enjoy visiting a zoo, there is always a limitation as to which animals one can interact with. Smaller and non-poisonous animals are usually no problem. Larger animals, such as lions, tigers, and even elephants, are off-limits to visitors, for obvious reasons. However, there is a solution to make this interaction a possibility. Guangdong’s largest animal zoo firmly believes virtual reality technology is the right way to go in this regard.
Anyone visiting this animal park can interact with the native animals through a VR headset. All they need is a mobile phone in their possession, which is not a big challenge in China these days. By scanning QR codes in the different areas, users can see animals appear in VR on their phone’s screen. Not only does this allow for interaction, but it also serves an educational purpose. In some cases, the VR environment can even be used to control an animal’s movements, although only the VR version of said animal.
Some people may argue fake animals have no place in an actual animal park. That topic will always be subject to debate and discussion. It is a very unusual and strange experience, but also one that leaves most visitors immensely satisfied. Moreover, the VR route allows for some creative interactions, including extinct species such as dinosaurs. While this may seem like an experience tailored to children, most adults are quite pleased with this new form of interaction as well.
Introducing such groundbreaking technologies in real-life environments will always be difficult. Many people willingly ignore virtual reality and dismiss it as a fad. At the same time, now is a good time for companies to explore with VR technology and see how it affects their business. In the case of Guangdong’s largest animal park, the preliminary results are overall positive. How this situation will evolve, remains to be determined. It is not unlikely other zoos around the world will use a similar approach moving forward.
Header image courtesy of Chinanews
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