Mobile AR Apps Help Save Rhinos (& Sell Stuff)

Mobile apps themselves are not always the end product or service for generating revenue. More often, they are deployed as tactics within a larger marketing or public relations strategy.

For product manufacturers, apps can be used to sell anything from drinks and chips (by way of a giveaway promotion) or to casino equipment and rugs. For conservationists, apps can be employed to help raise awareness of endangered or threatened species.With the growing popularity of augmented reality, marketing and PR teams can get a bit more creative with the approach.


A multimedia campaign to aimed at eliminating rhino poaching worldwide includes the installment of an interactive sculpture in New York City next year and the launch of an accompanying augmented reality app on Apple’s App Store.

The mobile app will allow visitors to interact with the life-size bronze sculpture of the three surviving members of the nearly-extinct Northern White Rhino species. The app will virtually transport visitors to Kenya, allowing them to interact with the rhinos, named Sudan, Najin, and Fatu, in real time. The AR experience will be geofenced to the sculpture’s location.

Created by artists Gillie and Marc, the sculpture will be unveiled at Astor Place in Jan. 2018, with a live broadcast by Nat Geo Wild. The sculture will remain there until April 15, when it will be moved to Rockefeller Center.

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