UP CLOSE AND VIRTUAL
VR experiences put participants face-to-face with exotic animals
Less than a quarter of youth in the U.S. and UK have tried and like virtual reality, one of the reasons being the limited nature of social interaction when wearing the necessary headset. New virtual social networks are emerging alongside other VR trends, such as these initiatives that allow humans to interact with animals in an immersive zoo-like experience.
DUBAI AQUARIUM & UNDERWATER ZOO
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo presents visitors with an immersive and educational experience through VR company Wevr and an HTC Vive headset. VRZOO takes participants on an exploration of countries including Uganda, Egypt, and Australia with 360-degrees of live footage of exotic wildlife. Educational content shares stats on the endangered species they’re viewing and encourages users to think about conservation. More brands are stepping up to the eco-friendly plate, such as others reducing waste.
MURDOCH CHILDREN’S RESEARCH INSTITUTE + MELBOURNE ZOO
Children at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne can experience a new form of pet therapy through VR. For patients who have limitations that don’t allow them to be near animals, tech startup Phoria created a lifelike experience using 360-degree recordings of the Melbourne Zoo, some of which were taken with a robotic rover. Young consumers appreciate brands that step in to help others; multiple brands employed initiatives to provide relief after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the U.S.
OASIS + ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY LONDON
Brands are creating more active IRL experiences to engage young consumers. Oasis took a virtual route for their safari experience to promote its new clothing line in partnership with the Zoological Society London. The in-store VR safari takes place in a mini Jeep and lets participants get up close and personal with lions, zebras, and other animals that are also featured on the clothes in Oasis’s new collection. The partnership promotes the conservation work done by the ZSL charity.