Children experience VR technology at Guangzhou Zoo. (Photo: China News Service/Chen JingWei)
A "VR zoo" has officially opened in south China's Guangzhou City, providing a new interaction experience for visitors while increasing people's awareness of wildlife protection.
In its first phase, the VR zoo at the Guangzhou Zoo was equipped with more than 20 robot-like devices for visitors to observe the feeding, playing and breeding of wild animals, some through the help of mobile phones.
So far, the experience covers dinosaur exhibitions, monkeys and VR films, according to Liang Fengyun, head of the Guangzhou Zoo.
"We use almost all immersion technologies, such as VR, AR, MR, 3D projection and holography," said Xiang Xi, CEO of Guangzhou Time Network Technology Co. Ltd., a tech company working on the program.
"Tourists can interact with animals without disturbing them," Liang said.
On the first day of its opening, about 20,000 visitors participated in the VR experience in the zoo. To ensure order, visitors need to book tickets in advance.
The first phase cost about 20 million yuan (about 3.1 million U.S. dollars) and more investment will be made in the second phase of construction. The zoo will build a full VR zoo in early 2019.
The VR zoo will also be available online in 2019, according to Liang.
In September, Guangzhou Zoo closed its 24-year-old circus performance.