Australia Zoo’s VR project first in a push to ‘revolutionise zoo visits’

Australia Zoo has embraced virtual reality, creating a 360-degree immersive video that allows audiences to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most dangerous animals.

The project was produced by Queensland creative agency Khemistry. Director Ashton Ward believes it represents a major leap forward in VR market penetration in Australia.

“Virtual reality video is no longer a futuristic idea,” says Ward. “This technology allows people to go new places and experience new things in a way we’ve never seen before.

“They can soar over African animals with a drone’s-eye-view, and climb inside the enclosure with four-metre salt water crocodiles. Experiences like this have been out of reach until now.”

One promotional video shows Robert Irwin, son of the late Steve Irwin, wearing a VR headset and watching a crocodile being fed in a zoo enclosure.

Darren Gertler of Australia Zoo managed the production and hopes that the project will revolutionise the experience of visitors to the zoo. In particular, Gertler anticipates a high level of engagement from younger audiences, specifically children.

“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, which will assist us in attracting a new generation of ‘wildlife warriors’.”

Ward believes the new VR campaign is the first of many steps toward further penetration of VR technology into the Australian mass market.

“As leaders in this space we will keep working with Queensland companies to develop new virtual reality projects that enhance the way people enjoy entertainment, go shopping or even buy a house.”


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