Client Overview

Welcoming over 20 million visitors a year, SEA LIFE centres are the world’s largest aquarium attraction group. Creating a personal and intimate experience for their visitors is something they pride themselves on by emphasising up-close interactions. Their main visitors are families and groups with children between 4 -12 years old.

 

SEA LIFE wanted to implement a technology-driven initiative in their attractions aimed at children and their accompanying adults, to increase dwell time, the length of time a group of visitors spend at a particular exhibit, by increasing engagement with the attractions.

Challenge

SEA LIFE had wanted to create an application which increased users’ interaction with the attractions while not distracting them from the marine life but instead encouraging them to learn more about the animals.  Having observed that visitors already carried their phones in their hands as they walked through the aquarium, using phones to increase the engagement was the goal. As people frequently used their phones to take photos, the app needed to have a button which allowed for the quick switch over to the camera application.

The five key aims of of the application were to:

  • Increase dwell time of visitors
  • Increase learning about marine life
  • Track and manage customer flow
  • Foster ‘togetherness’ between adults and children
  • Prove easy and cost effective scalability of the solution across the rest of the exhibits

 

The launch of SEA LIFE London’s new Rainforest Adventure was to be used as a trial.

Solution

Filament worked with Augmented Reality (AR) company Arcade to deliver a chat-led journey through the exhibition which meshes the digital and physical worlds using AR. The solution provided an end-to-end experience, woven around a single narrative: teach visitors about the creatures so they can become a ‘Junior Ranger’.

Upon launching the app, visitors are introduced to Roxy, a Junior Ranger at SEA LIFE, who will guide them around the exhibit. The gamification of the experience was key to encouraging users to interact with the exhibits, as the children must work with their accompanying adults to play games in AR space and complete text-based quizzes about the creatures, to collect badges.

Roxy interacts with the visitors via chat and at set points, as a figure in the AR space. Along the way visitors meet her vehicle Raymond in AR space too. Visitors can take control of the vehicle as it hovers above the Terrapins tank or swims through the Piranha tank. Roxy tells visitors interesting facts about the creatures, while seamlessly moving attractions. At the end of the exhibit, visitors can take a photo with Roxy next to them as she holds up a sign with their name on it and this take away epitomises the experience.

Outcome

The app was launched in beta phase alongside the launch of the Rainforest Adventure exhibit and was trialed with a set number of visitors.  After the conclusion of the primary beta phase, users using the application were found to have a 33% longer dwell time than visitors not using the application.

Next, we will be working SEA LIFE to incorporate the feedback and learning from the trial into the next phase of development.

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