The Living Desert Launches New Interactive Audio Tour App

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens recently launched its new app, an interactive audio tour that is one of the first of its kind in the nation. 

Featuring enjoyable audio overviews for each animal, augmented reality, and GPS real-time mapping, it isn’t the typical audio guide. Want to find the jaguars fast? GPS mapping guides visitors in real-time. Want to know if zebra stripes are black or white? Audio overviews present enlightening and surprising information while bonus material allows visitors to take deeper dives into content. 

In an age where more than 80% of visitors carry a smartphone, and two-thirds of younger visitors are looking for more interactive, technological and engaging experiences, The Living Desert is leading the way in how modern visitors learn about and interact with animals and zoos. 

“This app changes the way vistors experience The Living Desert, as it provides additional educational materials about the plants and animals and also serves as a personal tour guide with instant audio messaging,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “We are excited to be one of the first in the nation to launch this type of interactive app.”

The guide also includes an augmented reality feature, in which zookeepers appear and give talks about certain animals whenever visitors want. The tour also uses augmented reality to reveal fun facts, like how big a giraffe’s heart is (a 3D heart appears to scale) and more.  Additional features include an event calendar, coupons, parking location, pedometer, food and restrooms map and more. Visitors also are able to provide real time feedback about their experience through the app and save items of interest for further exploration when they leave the zoo. 

“Education about the animals, gardens and overall conservation mission should not stop when people leave the zoo,” said Monroe. “The new tour app allows visitors to stay connected with their zoo experience and have access to what they learned during their visit at their fingertips.” 

To create the tour, The Living Desert partnered with Guru, an innovative educational platform. Guru utilizes cutting-edge solutions to help users easily navigate and explore museums, zoos, aquaria, historic sites, and more by providing exciting information and various tour options to meet every visitor’s interests.

“We are thrilled to be working with such an amazing, forward-thinking venue like The Living Desert,” said Guru CEO Paul Burke. 

The Living Desert’s app is available on both iOS and Android devices.The tour is free and easily downloaded to smartphones and tablets from the Apple App and Google Play stores. The Living Desert is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org or contact 760-346-5694.

About The Living Desert

The Living Desert is an AZA-accredited zoo and gardens that is dedicated to desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation. It is a family-friendly place to explore nature and create meaningful experiences for guests that are remembered for a lifetime. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit www.LivingDesert.org. The Living Desert is located at: 47900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260.

About Guru

Guru creates a bridge between cultural institutions and a 21st-century audience. We work with our partners to tell their unique stories and provide digital strategies to enhance the visitor experience. A Guru-powered tour is customized for each institution, is easily downloadable, and serves as an expert tour guide to encourage users to take ownership of their own experiences in a modernized way. Guru has created interactive experience platforms for cultural institutions all over the nation and continues to lead the way in interactive, educational augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. Based in San Diego, CA, Guru has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other leading publications. The company was named San Diego’s most innovative start-up in 2017. 

01 Mar 2018


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Issue 15