A new augmented reality experience created by AVARA Media and Polar Bears International (PBI) launched last Friday. Just in time for Polar Bear Week, the project hopes to keep polar bears on our minds by putting them on our phones.
Before we talk about the polar bear experience, let’s talk about polar bears.
Through the magic of augmented reality, we have created an immersive and engaging experience that allows users around the world to explore the arctic and learn about the challenges polar bears are facing in our current environment.
Polar bears rely on Arctic sea ice to hunt seals, their primary source of food. As global temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears have an increasingly difficult time hunting. As a result, polar bear populations have dropped precipitously in recent years.
Polar Bears International claims to be the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated solely to the conservation of polar bears and their habitats. Seven years ago, PBI began holding Polar Bear Week. The week, happening November 3-9, coincides with an on-land migration of polar bears in Canada’s Hudson Bay region. Each year, PBI organizes educational programs during this week to make the public aware of the polar bears’ plight.
“Polar Bear Week focuses attention on these iconic animals and their melting habitat,” PBI Executive Director Krista Wright said in a release shared with ARPost. “Our goal during Polar Bear Week is to inspire people to care about the bears and get involved in their conservation.”
AVARA Media is a technology company that focuses on creating augmented reality experiences for education and advocacy. They’ve worked with other environmental causes in the past, including The Anthropocene Project. Naturally, they seemed like a perfect fit to create an interactive experience for PBI.
The AR Experience
“We’re excited to join AVARA in launching the Arctic Polar Bear experience,” said Wright. She explained that the aim of Polar Bear Week is not only to celebrate polar bears. The attention is also on the threats they face and the actions needed to save them. “This augmented reality experience fits perfectly with those goals – letting users immerse themselves in the polar bear’s world while learning about ways to help,“ she said.
AVARA’s augmented reality experience utilizes a trigger and a smartphone. After downloading the AVARA mobile app (available for both iOS and Android), users point their device at the trigger and can see the polar bears in their Arctic habitat. You can download and print the trigger, or you can just point your phone at the image below.
“Through the magic of augmented reality, we have created an immersive and engaging experience that allows users around the world to explore the arctic and learn about the challenges polar bears are facing in our current environment,” Avara CEO, Vikas Gupta, said in a release.