AR/VR-Powered Makeover will Change Zoos
Technologies like VR are posing questions on whether people would still be interested in traveling to far-off places to capture the animals.
FREMONT, CA: Immersive technologies like Augmented reality and Virtual reality (VR) are providing users with experiences close to real-life. The same technologies can also offer users a virtual trip to a zoo. In that scenario, will people still walk into zoos to see the animals?
And what if zoos themselves adopt these technologies instead of providing the visitors the opportunity to spend time with real animals? Here are the primary reasons for VR based zoo-experience to prosper:
Instant Sensory Stimulation
Current generation demands instant gratification. They like their senses to be overwhelmed with stimuli, whether it is colored in HD or sounds in Hi-res. Industries like music, gaming, and cinema are already gearing up for these demands. However, such arrangements can keep youngsters off places like a zoo, library, or a museum.
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With VR, a viewer gets a 360-degree view of an environment with real-life like sights and sounds. Moreover, people can experience animals in greater detail as there will be no danger involved in a VR headset. With VR, aged animals will become a thing of the past. People can also get more information about the various species as compared to the actual visit.
Dangers of keeping the animals away from their natural habitat are well known. The rising awareness of animal rights can also foster VR based zoo experience. Animal rights activists are also hurting the business prospects of zoos. With immersive technologies, zoos can continue their exhibit without further distress to animals.
With a rise in awareness, zoos will be required to spend more on animal caring. The number of animals being housed will also go down with the rise in cost. According to a research article published in 2016 in PLOS ONE, challenges of food gathering and lack of social connections severely affects the mental states of the elephants.
AR/VR vs. the Culture of Visiting the Zoos
The major argument against VR/AR is that it might eliminate the culture of visiting zoos. While the statement is still open for debate, zoos can adopt the technology for various aspects such as animal conservation projects. Such projects can also bring their wares outside by offering a virtual display of animals.