App, Beacon & Co. – Berlin Zoo 2.0

Berlin Zoo presents a personal guide for mobile phones.

What is the quickest way to get to my favourite animal? Where is the nearest playground? And what are the absolute “must-sees” at Berlin Zoo? Guests can find the answers to all these questions with the new Berlin Zoo app, available for download free of charge from today on all mobile iOS and Android devices. Information on animals, tours, shows and feeding times as well as general zoo news is now available at a glance. Guests can also get a quick and easy overview of prices and opening hours and make use of the interactive zoo map – complete with a search function for specific animals and important locations. Using the latest Beacon technology, the Berlin Zoo app sets new standards in visitor-friendliness!

With roughly 19,000 animals housed across 33 hectares of land, visitors could spend days on end at Berlin Zoo without running out of new things to discover. But some guests – particularly Berlin day tourists – are on a tight schedule. The app therefore provides a speedy 45-minute tour for those in a real hurry, and a two-hour tour that covers all the main highlights. There are also tours tailored to specific groups and events. An individual alarm function reminds visitors when their favourite animals will be fed. And because there is always so much animal action going on at the zoo, the app also provides visitors with all the latest news as well as practical information such as current prices and last admission times.

The new app is particularly helpful for our international guests. Roughly every fourth visitor to Berlin Zoo comes from abroad and doesn’t speak German. We therefore provide animal info in Russian, French and Italian as well as in German and English, ensuring that as many guests as possible can access the fun and fascinating animal facts. This practical app is also well worthwhile for German-speaking visitors, offering lots of extra information and updates like: Is the leopard currently taking his afternoon nap? Or has the ferruginous duck gone back to incubate its eggs? Photo galleries and animal videos provide additional insights.

State-of-the-art technology for the zoo: The latest Beacon technology ensures that the Berlin Zoo app displays the right facts at the right time and in the right place. The word “beacon” is taken from Apple’s brand name “iBeacon” and describes a small transmitter that sends out radio signals at fixed intervals. The signal transmission uses Bluetooth Low Energy standards, so consumes very little power. “These Beacons can be detected by mobile devices in the immediate surroundings and notify visitors of interesting information close by,” explains Dr Daniel Werner, Managing Director of keylight GmbH – the company that developed the new app together with Berlin Zoo. As the animal signs in the zoo are gradually updated, more and more Beacons will be installed – eventually replacing the “classic” QR codes entirely.

“We are the first recreational facility in Germany to employ this modern Beacon technology,” explains Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem, going on to reveal that, “The Tierpark app is already in the pipeline!”

As of 27 July, the Berlin Zoo app is available free of charge from the Google Play Store and App Store. For more information, visit: www.zoo-berlin.de/app