VR on the wild side

Zebra print pattern

How the virtual world is helping the real world to preserve our most threatened species.


The bitter truth is that we’re losing species from our planet. According to the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) at least two animal species a year will become extinct.

When their habitat is affected to the extent that a species can no longer survive, this has a knock-on effect on other creatures living in that environment. It’s a stark reality. But what if there was a novel way to halt the extinction of threatened species, to help animals before they become a page in our history books?

The Wild Immersion is a virtual reality production company that produces immersive content and experiences in wild natural environments, in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. Indeed, who better to champion this new way of getting close to some of the rarest animals on earth than Jane Goodall, a prominent fixture in the conservation space for almost half a century?

The Wild Immersion Virtual Reserve brings you right into the action with a 3D experience that uses augmented and virtual techniques to deliver an unprecedented view of the environment. Imagine getting nose to nose with a jaguar? Or close enough to stroke a panda? For a few precious minutes, users of this technology feel like they actually live in the habitat of one of our threatened species.

The move could mark a new dawn for digital production companies, with a renewed focus on ethics, education and eco-friendly methods. Rather than preaching or forcing the issue, it delivers a subtle message with a playful approach to educate children on the importance of conservation and the issues surrounding extinction.

To read the full version of this article, order Issue no. 3 of ALHAUS magazine—available now.

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