Adelaide Zoo has announced that it has deployed iBeacon technology to enhance the visitor experience and share the stories behind one of the city’s most iconic attractions.

Thanks to sponsorship from Beach Energy, the Bluetooth-based technology will act as a personal tour guide for visitors to the zoo, providing location-specific information about the zoo, its animals and conservation efforts.

Sixty-five beacons have been distributed throughout the site, and will interact with a downloadable smartphone app, created by technology partner Specialist Apps.

This app will trigger messages, alert visitors to points of interest, and provide interesting and practical information such as species facts, the location of facilities, and educational tools for zoo goers.

According to Zoos SA’s Tourism and Digital Marketing Coordinator Hayden Zammit, visitors will also be able to hear from keepers directly and use interactive maps on the app.

“We can now influence the zoo experience through smartphones and tablets, a great addition to interactions with our keepers and volunteers,” he said.

“With this new technology, we are essentially putting a keeper in the palm of every visitor’s hand, modernising the zoo experience and making information much more accessible.”

Three interactive trails have also been established within the app, designed to provide a range of experiences at different locations at the zoo.

The free trail provides basic information on the zoo’s animals, points of interest and facilities.

Two paid trails – a threatened species and zoo careers trail – are designed for schools to access the zoo’s education programs, allowing them to personalise their experiences on-site and continue their learning back in the classroom.

Zoos SA Zoo Learning General Manager Jonathan Noble said that the new technology was an exciting addition to the Adelaide Zoo learning experience.

“Learning opportunities for visitors and students at the zoo will be transformed, with the app providing an interactive experience, including photos, information, audio recordings, videos and games,” he said.

“The app is a fantastic educational tool, allowing students to unlock previously unseen information and use it to learn about important animal and conservation issues.”