Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Australia Zoo has partnered on a new virtual reality experience aimed at giving visitors a more interactive look at what it has to offer.
The 360-degree videos give users the opportunity to get close to a case of characters from the zoo, including crocodiles, rhinos, tigers, snakes and giraffes using a VR headset. Footage includes playing with a Sumatran tiger cub, patting a rhino’s nose, soaring over African animals and climbing inside the enclosure with a 4-metre salt water crocodile.
The content was produced by Queensland creative agency, Khemistry, and managed by Australia Zoo marketing director, Darren Gertler.
“Steve [Irwin] believed that interacting with wildlife was the best way to inspire conversation and this new technology will allow our visitors to get up close with some of the zoo’s incredible wildlife and continue that message,” Gertler said. “This footage is sure to change the way Australia Zoo visitors interact and engage with the animals, ensuring a fun experience for visitors of all ages and it will assist us in attracting a new generation of wildlife warriors.”
The project is a first for Khemistry, and director, Ashton Ward, said it signalled a massive shift for wildlife attractions and filmmaking.
“Virtual reality video is no longer a futuristic idea. This technology allows people to go new places and experience new things in a way we’ve never seen before,” he said.
Australia Zoo joins a quickly growing list of local brands adopting VR content as part of their customer engagement efforts.
Other examples launched in recent months include Movie World’s 360-degree VR roller coaster ride, which is being merged with the physical experience; the NRL’s virtual State of Origin; the Sydney Opera House’s VR iconic sails tour; and Tourism Australia’s immersive VR aquatic and coastal experiences.
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