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Fountain Digital Labs launches ‘Virry’ application at Al Ain Zoo

Fountain Digital Labs has recently launched Virry, an application designed for children who are eager to explore the animal kingdom, offering endless hours of wildlife entertainment and learning in different forms via Smart Technology.

The application includes unprecedented and immersive live-streaming technology that gives young children real-time access to their favourite wild animals and their actual behaviours. It also features interactive videos that help children practice life skills such as impulse control, creativity, reasoning, and problem solving by virtually engaging with their favourite animals in fun games. The games, experienced from the animal’s point of view require the user to play through interaction such as tilting the iPAD or phone to drop food for the Lion, and shouting into their device to attract the Lion to the meat.
Children will learn to respond to the needs of different animals by breaking down simple problems, developing strategies to solve them, and getting rewarded through positive feedback. Extensive video playlists are also available, where children can follow emotional threads to connect different animals and their behaviours, promoting empathy and understanding in an entertaining way. Curated high-quality videos show the connections and common behaviours across species, allowing children to gain a broader understanding of animal life.
Virry has been created in collaboration with leading child development researchers, and the resulting innovative and fun ways of interacting within the game means the learning is more effective. Children with Special Needs benefit greatly from such enhanced methods of active engagement and to celebrate its worldwide launch and ‘home’ in the UAE, Fountain Digital Labs has recently signed a MoU with Zayed Higher Organization, to grant children with special needs in the country free access to their newly launched application. This signing took place at Al Ain Zoo, during the launch of the Virry Application, where the animal and scenery footage is filmed.
The filmed content includes exclusive behind the scenes footage at the zoo, shot by remote control and curated by wildlife documentarians with experience of working on animal shows for the BBC and Disney. This process meaning real animal behaviour is observed without human interaction, making Virry the first app to offer the chance to really interact with and understand exotic and captivating animals first hand.
Virry was brought to life by an international team of award-winning film industry veterans, technology specialists, wildlife experts and academics, such as Professor Gail F. Melson, an authority on children’s development, author of Where the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children and leader in the field of human-animal interaction at Purdue University.
Commenting on the launch, Svetlana Dragayeva, the creator of Virry, academic and film producer, said: “We use the abbreviation OCCEAN to describe the skills that Virry nurtures, which include observation, creativity, critical thinking, empathy, and attention. We strongly believe that all these features could add value to all children, including those with special needs. It is the mechanics of the game that really differentiates Virry. The application has transformed raw film footage of real wild animals to a whole new level that is accessible for children, giving them the opportunity to experience the animal world first hand.”

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