With the Association of Zoos and Aquariums annual conference approaching in September, we were inspired to share 5 zoos that have raised the bar, offering visitors a truly interactive and advanced learning environment.
Zoos are taking all different approaches to keep guests entertained and engaged; check out our list of zoos that are leading the charge in tech innovation!
1. Columbus Zoo – Featuring Peerless-AV Installations
The Columbus Zoo in Ohio has approximately 2.2 million visitors passing through per year. To share information in an environmentally-friendly way, the zoo utilizes Peerless-AV’s Xtreme™ Displays. These reliable, weatherproof displays help share information on over 10,000 animals, park updates, events, and weather warnings. This go-green initiative has helped to eliminate the need for paper materials and maps, and has improved visitors’ experience! (http://commercialintegrator.eu/peerless-av-displays-installed-at-columbus-zoo-and-aquarium/)
2. Melbourne Zoo – Orangutan Interactive Learning
The Melbourne Zoo has implemented interactive video games using Xbox technology for orangutans to explore problem-solving and mentally stimulating games! The games project images onto the floor and sense the animal’s movements while interacting with the projections. The zoo hopes this technology will help the orangutans connect with visitors and showcase the high intelligence of these animals. We’re ready to challenge an orangutan to a game of Candy Crush!
3. London Zoo – Breeding Ground for New Species: Pokémon
Since the launch in mid-June, we’ve seen the explosion of popularity in Pokémon Go; kids, teens, and adults alike are obsessed with the mobile game. We’ve seen some businesses capitalizing off of the craze, and it’s proven to be pretty successful to draw in crowds, especially at the London Zoo. The zoo is filled with different species of Pokémon, within the enclosures and throughout the area. The space is ideal for those on the Pokémon hunt to capture new creatures, as well as see some real-life, living animals!
4. Zoo Atlanta: Giving Back to Wildlife
In March 1889, Zoo Atlanta was born from a circus that came to town and never left! Continuously growing over the past century, the zoo has upheld its mission to inspire the citizens of Georgia and all zoo visitors to value wildlife and help safeguard existing species through conservation. One initiative to help uphold these values is the zoo’s implementation of “Quarters for Conservation.” This program donates 25 cents from every general admission ticket to one of three crucial conservation programs. While purchasing tickets on self-serve Peerless-AV kiosks, visitors can choose which program they’d like to support: Project Golden Frog, Golden Lion Tamarin Association, or Elephants for Africa. (http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/quartersforconservation)
5. Sydney Zoo: Animal Park of the Future
Planned to open in late 2017, the Sydney Zoo looks like it will be an exotic zoo of the future! Partnering with Western Sydney University, the Sydney Zoo plans to build a high-tech experience for the visitors as well as the animals. The site will cover a 40.8-acres, and will include native Australian animals, as well as exotic creatures. Some of the tech they hope to include will be drones to help feed and clean the animal’s enclosures, along with app and Wi-Fi coverage for the zoo to interact and educate visitors.
One common theme across all of these cool zoos is technology. Whether it is digital signage or mobile apps, in order to truly connect and interact with visitors, parks and zoos have to upgrade their vehicles of communication.
We’d love to hear about your favorite zoos, and the technology you have seen throughout the parks! Let us know!