A new virtual reality (VR) experience at Dubai Aquariam and Underwater Zoo is giving visitors the chance to look into the lives of endangered animals and the habitats they live in. The VR experience features videos of 12 different animals, including, gorillas and seals. They were all filmed using a special 360-degree camera so the VR headset user will be right in the middle of everything.
Paul Hamilton, general manager and curator of the aquarium, believes these experiences will lead to greater awareness about conservation. Talking to The National, he said; “The idea behind the VR Zoo is to get people face-to-face with some of the most endangered species on the planet. Most people live and work in urban environments, so they’ll be lucky to see even a mouse. This loss of connection between us and nature means we aren’t aware of a wide range of species that are facing extinction or have become extinct. But, by using technology as well as zoos and aquariums to bring people into contact with these animals we can raise awareness of them and begin work to protect them.”
Film crews armed with the special VR cameras went all over the world to places like Uganda, South Africa, Egypt, Australia and the Maldives to acquire footage for the videos. New videos are expected to be added each year, each depicting the lives of another endangered animal.
The aquarium also features an interactive CGI experience where visitors can walk around in different underwater locales and interact with fish, whales and squid. There are 13 360-degree stalls and six cubicles for the interactive experience. With tickets for the 360-degree experience priced at 30Dh whilst fot the CGI interactive experience is 50Dh.
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