Review: Safari Central
Bringing conservation into your daily life through augmented reality.
By Brian Diener
Have you ever wanted to play with elephants or bears from the comfort of your home? Safari Central is a new phone app from Internet of Elephants that brings a collection of animals into your everyday world.
Through the magic of technology, Safari Central allows you to transport six real animals into your world to interact with using the latest in augmented reality.
Many people are familiar with augmented reality and this futuristic wave of innovation, due to Pokemon Go’s launch a year ago. Safari Central takes a similar concept as Pokemon Go, in which computer-generated creatures are superimposed over the real world, providing you with a blended view of both the real and virtual world.
However, instead of searching for and capturing little creatures as you do in Pokemon Go, with Safari Central, you bring one of six animals into your world to explore.
To use the app, you must point your device at a supported “target.” In the world of AR, a target is a real-world image the app uses as a beacon or target, to place the virtual object on. In Safari Central’s case, you can use a dollar, the Safari Central logo, or one of the app’s partner logos as a target. From there, you can bring each animal into existence through the magic of augmented reality.
So, if you’ve ever wondered what your living room would look like with 20-year old grizzly bear named Ethyl wandering around, download the app.
Safari Central allows you to interact with six different animals from around the world. With the push of a button, you can take a selfie with Beby, an Indri lemur, or take a photograph of a black rhino, Lola, walking down the sidewalk. Alternatively, you can place a miniature version of Mweturia the elephant on your kitchen counter and direct it to walk from one end of the kitchen to the other.
As you get familiar with the app and the featured animals, you can read a short biography that gives you an idea of each animal’s life and personality. You also learn about each organization that is working to protect each species.
In the free version of the app, you can take five photos of the animals in your world for free. Once you’ve used up your five free pictures for one particular animal, you can purchase an additional five photos for $0.99, or unlimited photos for $2.99. Alternatively, you can purchase unlimited photos of every animal for $9.99. Each in-app purchase goes towards the continual conservation efforts of each animal. The app was launched on Kickstarter and raised almost $100,000 for the app development.
The Safari Central app works well and does a great job of bringing the world of conservation into your daily life using augmented reality. You can download Safari Central for free on your iOS or Android device.
Safari Central was created by Internet of Elephants, a startup company that brings wildlife conservation awareness to the world by creating entertainment products. Safari Central partners with six different conservation organizations working to protect species.
• Space for Giants is an international nonprofit organization that works to safeguard vulnerable elephant populations in Africa. Your contributions to Space for Giants goes directly towards the West Laikipia Fence Project, which builds fencing to protect both elephants and humans from undesirable conflicts.
• Tswalu Foundation is South Africa’s largest private game preserve in which local and international visitors can contribute to environmental research on the Kalahari. Your donation to the Tswalu Foundation helps fund research into the ecology, behavior, and conservation of pangolins, including research on the impact of climate change on the pangolin habitat.
• Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa that welcomes nearly 85,000 visitors every year to learn about conservancy. Your donation funds the recovery of rhino populations, and contributes to the employment of rhino monitoring patrols and caregivers.
• Conservation International works with local communities to develop alternate sources of food and income to protect critically endangered lemur populations. Your contribution to Conservation International benefits both humans and lemurs, as it helps promote a community-based forest protection program. This program works with villagers to collect scientific data, destroy lemur traps, contribute to conservation planning, and patrol the forest from illegal activity.
• Pro Carnivoros is dedicated to the survival of the jaguar population in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Your contribution to Pro Carnivoros helps the organization identify and protect key habitats and corridors that are essential for jaguars to survive.
• The Chicago Zoological Society’s mission is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Society teaches children, students, teachers and the general public about conservationism and how to make a positive impact on the natural world.