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Adelaide Zoo claims it will become Australia’s first zoo to introduce enhanced visitor content and experiences through beacon technology.
The zoo has partnered with Specialist Apps Company to bring content straight to Bluetooth-enabled devices through iBeacon and eLocker technologies in order to offer visitors access to location-specific information about its animals and conservation work.
The iBeacons will be used to trigger messages on visitor devices, alerting them to points of interest around the zoo and providing interesting and practical information such as species facts, the location of the closest facilities and educational tools. Visitors will be able to download an App and then access a range of experiences at different locations around the Zoo through their Apple or Android device.
The technology means general public and students of all ages will have access to location-specific information based on video, audio and text-based media. Students will be able to access learning trails and use their personalised experiences back in the classroom to continue their learning about animals and conservation.
Zoos SA Zoo Learning's general manager, Jonathan Noble, saw the new technology as a fantastic educational tool, allowing students to unlock fresh information and use it to learn about important animal and conservation issues.
“The app can be adapted for various visitor types, including general visitors, international tourists and school groups,” he said. “Learning opportunities for students at the Zoo will be transformed with the app to provide an interactive learning experience, including quizzes, games and information.”
Beacon technology is currently being used across many industries, including the building, retail and advertising sectors. iBeacons and eLockers and are also being used by many leading museums and galleries around the world, including the National Trust of South Australia and the Sovereign Hill Museums Association in Ballarat to bring tours to life and provide contextual resources as well as to highlight the latest news or other interesting facts.
The new technology is expected to be introduced at Adelaide Zoo in the later part of this year with new learning trails added in 2017.