For immediate release
World-first AR Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize brings the wild to life for safari selfies wherever you are
- Pioneering app brings real wild animals to life with your smartphone
- Snap them in your world then add to social media to win African safari
- App raises funds for animal charities in Africa and Americas
Nairobi, 21st of August 2017 – A world-first competition launching today turns everyone with a smartphone into a wildlife photographer wherever they are, bringing ferocious fun to funding conservation and giving players a chance to win a safari to Africa.
Safari Central, an app by gaming group Internet of Elephants, uses data from animal protection organisations to create Augmented Reality (AR) versions of real animals including elephants, jaguars, and lemurs, in a free app that players download to their phones.
There they can unleash their creativity to take photos of their favourite animals wherever they are. A virtual rhino might be snapped charging down the Champs Elysees in Paris, or a pangolin starting a climb over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or a grizzly bear barging between tables at a streetside cafe in Chicago. Players enter their favourite images to a photo contest on social media using the hashtag #RewildYourWorld. The competition runs to October 7th.
"The grand vision is to get millions of people around the world to think about wildlife for five minutes every day, and think about it positively,” says Gautam Shah, founder of Internet of Elephants, the initiators and makers of Safari Central. “Conservation suffers from so much bad news and gloomy images. People just want to turn the page or change the channel. But there are more than two billion people who play online or computer games. What if by playing our games we can get even a fraction of them to be addicted to wildlife? That could be a real game-changer for conservation."
It’s free to download the app, but players can opt to buy more ‘photo film’, and those micro payments go to the six conservation organisations who supplied Internet of Elephants with the wildlife data: Chicago Zoological Society, Conservation International, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Space for Giants, Tswalu Foundation, and The Institute for the Conservation of Neotropical Carnivores – ‘Pro-Carnivores’.
"Linking people who play games directly to an actual animal living and roaming the wilderness today is, in our minds, genius," said Max Graham, Space for Giants' CEO. "It gives people an understanding of the very real lives of these animals, and of the very real threats they face, in a way that isn't overly gloomy, and doesn't lecture or preach. That's the way potentially to gather millions and millions of new supporters to all our causes. We're super excited to be part of this.”
Safari Central’s AR animals will go on to feature in a full Internet of Elephants game scheduled for release for the summer of 2018.
It will use GPS data of the animals’ movements across their territories – a jaguar patrolling the Brazilian rainforest, perhaps, or an elephant browsing Kenya's savannah - and overlay that to selected world cities. Players can then track and try to spot the animals' virtual twins, picking up insights into their behaviour that give them tactical advantages.
Notes to Editors
To learn more and download the app please go to www.safaricentralgame.com
Gautam Shah firstname.lastname@example.org +254 715 277 453
Images are available royalty free for features regarding Safari Central. Please find a selection of low and high resolution images on our Google Drive.