This site explores and supports research on the design and use of interactive technologies in zoos. We aim to bring together researchers in human-computer interaction and animal sciences with zoo professionals.
Zoos and other conservation organizations are beginning to explore limited applications of interactive technologies to transform attitudes, behaviors and public policy related to conservation and sustainability. Information kiosks, digital signage, specialized technologies and mobile apps are increasingly used as part of zoos’ work to foster visitors’ sense of connection with animals and, through this, inspire pro- conservation and sustainability attitudes and behaviors. Various animal industries are also turning to digital technology as a means of cognitive enrichment for animals; this provides new opportunities for computer- mediated experiences which enhance animal welfare as well as connecting visitors with captive animals.
Zoos and wildlife-oriented experiences have yet to receive the level of attention from HCI researchers accorded to museums and culture-oriented informal learning institutions. Early research indicates that this context is one which provides rich opportunities but unique challenges for designers of interactive experiences. The setting of the zoo as an outdoor, naturalistic space, the presence of animals and their relationship with human visitors, the forms of social interaction and patterns of technology use amongst groups of zoo visitors differentiate this context substantially from other informal learning institutions.
To learn more about us, see CHI 2016 Workshop Organizers
To get in touch, contact Sarah Webber. Email: s.webber (at) unimelb.edu.au