iBeacon technology is set to change the way visitors experience Adelaide Zoo by providing them with a personal virtual tour guide through their smartphone.
The zoo has become the first in Australia to utilise this interactive technology which provides location-specific information about the zoo, its animals and conservation work at the touch of a button.
Content is provided through Bluetooth technology connected to 65 ‘beacons’ distributed throughout the zoo site. The iBeacons 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.
Zoos SA tourism and digital marketing coordinator Hayden Zammit said visitors will download the app to hear from keepers directly as they explore the destination with interactive maps and learn about the more than 3,000 animals.
“We can now influence the zoo experience through smartphones and tablets; it’s a great addition to interactions with our keepers and volunteers,” Hayden says. “With this new technology, we are essentially putting a keeper in the palm of every visitor’s hand, modernising the zoo experience and making information much more accessible.”
Jonathan Noble, Zoos SA’s zoo learning general manager, says the new technology is an exciting addition to the current learning experience. “Learning opportunities for visitors and students at the zoo will be transformed with the app, providing an interactive experience, including photos, information, audio recordings, videos and games.
“The app is a fantastic educational tool, allowing students to unlock previously unseen information and use it to learn about important animal and conservation issues.”
A general free trail is available which provides location-specific information on the animals, points of interest and facilities. Two paid sustainability and education trails, a threatened species and zoo careers trail are available to schools via the zoo’s education programs, allowing schools to personalise their experiences on site and continue their learning back in the classroom.