Design house Marokka has used AR to let low-poly animals roam London's financial district

This augmented reality installation in Broadgate raises awareness of endangered animals, and how technology can help to preserve them.

London commuters on their way to work this morning would have been surprised to see a giant gorilla statue was delivered to Finsbury Avenue Square in Broadgate over the weekend. 

Design house Marokka teamed up with Broadgate and The Aspinall Foundation to bring attention to how technology can help protect wildlife, with a Life Meets Tech augmented reality (AR) installation that will occupy Finsbury Avenue Square for the rest of summer.

By downloading Marokka’s free AR app to their smartphone (iOS and Android), passers by can walk around a sign post placed beside three-metre high Gus the gorilla, and watch statue-like AR endangered animals – a giraffe, elephant, rhino and lion – pop out and interact with real life.

The idea is that by using AR alongside the physical gorilla statue, people can learn about the use of technology in the preservation of wildlife, including the use of trackers and camera traps to monitor and safeguard the animals.

To extrapolate this further, a talk will be held tomorrow by conservation and reintroduction coordinator at The Aspinall Foundation. Users of the Marokka app are also pointed to The Aspinall Foundation to learn more information.

Marokka’s team designed and delivered the gorilla in a box, much like a normal animal is transported, to the Square last night. For Gus the gorilla’s first morning occupying the otherwise corporate space, the statue managed to stop many in their tracks long enough to take a photo. Some took a moment more to read the sign and realise they can interact even further.

Marokka’s inhouse team developed the simple AR app, which unlike Pokemon Go (that uses geo-location), keeps the AR animals anchored to animal head symbols on the cubed signpost, says Marokka commercial director Joe Cocozza. For each wall of the cube, a different animal pops out, in the same style (low poly) as Gus the gorilla.

Life Meets Tech is a calendar of tech-inspired events, talks and pop-ups throughout Broadgate’s summer season.

Read on to see the rest of the AR animals. 

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