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Augmented Reality Lifts Awareness of Nature Preservation

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What a user of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's new augmented reality app would see.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's new augmented reality app is designed to help visitors to national parks enjoy virtual wildlife sightings in nature.

Credit: University of Colorado

University of Colorado Denver digital design students created an augmented reality app for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that is designed to enable park visitors to enjoy virtual wildlife sightings in nature.

The USFWS approached professor Michelle Carpenter's Design Studio 3 class about enhancing its "Get Your Goose On" program, aimed at increasing awareness of the National Wildlife Refuge System, especially among young people. "We thought maybe we could use augmented reality to increase interest from younger people," Carpenter says. "That way people could have a phone or tablet and see animals, including endangered animals, which might appear there."

The students say the interactive quality of augmented reality, as well as the ability to use smartphones and other devices, will appeal to young people. Thus far, the team has created a virtual deer and a bald eagle that appear when a device is held up to the "Get Your Goose On" logo.

The USFWS is considering using the app at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Carpenter says the app also could enable users to take photos with their devices and view a drop-down screen with information about a particular animal.

From UC Newsroom
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