Bristol Zoo group project

As our first group task in university, we were put into groups of 5/4 for my group I was working with Oli Evans, Jade Garstang and Tom Hawkins. As a group we had to add a new digital experience to Bristol zoo that will keep regular visitors engage and also bring in new customers. The digital experience had to utilise the archive of photos that Bristol Zoo had gathered over the past 176 they have been open. It had to have a new experience, maximise locative aspects and finally the audience that we had to attract for this new digital experience were children between the ages of 5-12 and their parents and of course animal lovers.

As a group we came together and thought of our initial ideas. Originally one of our first ideas was using Kinect 2 that will soon be released as a new digital experience where we would have the kids pick their favourite animal and then when they are using the kinect 2, they are the animal they chose and the background of the kinect would be photos from the archive of photos that Bristol Zoo. The initial idea utilised the target audience but only slightly the rest of the brief.

However, as a group we decided that using Kinect was not the best way to incorporate the extensive collection of photos from the history of Bristol Zoo as mentioned in the brief. Moreover, the Kinect isn’t a new technology, and some of the Bristol Zoo visitors might have already used Kinect in the past.

We were ever drawn to the idea of using some sort of virtual reality platform to use as the new experience for the visitors of Bristol Zoo. As a group we decided that a significantly more engaging experience would be something that immerses the user completely into the heritage of Bristol Zoo. The technology that facilitates these needs for Bristol Zoo is he Occulus Rift. The Occulus Rift is a new digital media technology, it has many unique ways of interacting with a 3D environment. We thought that this would make good use of the large photo archive Bristol Zoo have. The experience would work by having the user wearing the Occulus Rift device whilst standing on a omnidirectional treadmill pad, this would allow the user to control the characters footsteps by walking. The virtual experience would have jobs or quests for the user to do to be able to progress through the ages of Bristol Zoo, further enabling the photo archive. Moreover, this experience suited the target audience as the kids would enjoy this very much.

The Bristol Zoo group task was a relatively easy task to complete as we had many ideas as a group so we had many different routes we could take with the new digital technology. Our performance as a group was to a high standard and I feel we worked well alongside one and other and I believe this was a key reason as to why this group project was a success for us. I look forward to completing more group tasks.

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