Animal IQ

A Startup Is Making Pokémon GO Based On The Movements Of Real Wild Animals

Pokémon GO is perfect for a certain brand of geek. But a startup is whipping up a similar game for nature nerds. Goodbye cartoons, hello wildlife!

Is That A Grizzly On Your Porch?

Safari Central is an augmented reality game that puts the movements of real, live, wild animals in your city. Think Pokémon GO, but swap Arcanine for an actual tiger. In development by the US and Kenya-based startup Internet of Elephants (IoE), Safari Central uses GPS data that is already in use by conservationists to learn the resource needs and patterns of animals living in the wild.

So the augmented reality jaguar you see through your phone screen strolling in front of your laundromat? That cat is making those exact moves in a forest somewhere across the globe. This brings a whole new meaning to "concrete jungle."

Gotta Save 'Em All

This game was developed because, well, animals need help. The sad truth is that not enough people are pitching in to save the animals, so IoE decided it was time to try something new. "Conventional fundraising approaches are not reaching enough people or raising enough funds to turn the tide," the company said in a press release. If the game gets anywhere near as popular as Pokémon GO did, conservation will be shining in the international spotlight.

In-app purchases will go directly toward saving the animals. You can follow the project on Kickstarter. A full launch of the app is anticipated in December of 2018.

Stories of the Wild

Written by Joanie Faletto August 6, 2017

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