National Geographic chose INDE to keep the Sumatran Rhino legacy alive

Each year National Geographic’s “Explorers Festival” brings together innovative scientists, conservationists, explorers, and storytellers from around the world to create change for the better and more sustainable future. This year they dedicated an entire panel to the depleting population of the Sumatran rhino featuring Catherine Workman (Moderator, and Senior Director of Wildlife Programs at National Geographic Society), Colby Bishop (Director of Wildlife Programs at National Geographic Society), Corey Jaskolski (National Geographic Fellow), Kira Mileham (Director of Strategic Partnerships, IUCN Species Survival Commission) and CeCe Sieffert (Deputy Director, International Rhino Foundation).

This consortium of NGO partners chose a cutting edge technology to bring this beautiful mammal back from the brink. They partnered with UK Augmented Reality company INDE to create a life-sized Sumatran rhino that “walked” through the auditorium during the event. The audience was in awe after seeing and engaging with Harapan - or Harry for short, a young male that was born at Cincinnati Zoo in 2007 and who was a result of a special international breeding program.

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The unique Augmented Reality experience was a joint effort between Corey Jaskolski's team and INDE's 3D specialists. “Since the National Geographic team alrady had a 3D scanned Sumatran rhino, our job was to animate the virtual animal and render it to match the lighting conditions and the layout of the auditorium. Once we received the 3D assets the awesome 3D team went on to rig and animate the character. Parallel to that, the lighting setup was prepared to match the reference image we got of the environment.” - told Norbert Kovács, CTO of INDE.

Alex Poulson, CEO of INDE added: “Our long, fruitful partnership with National Geographic was borne from common goals and genuine belief that technology can play a key part in conservation and awareness. From our first builds in 2011 through our work in multiple countries worldwide, this latest work for the society continues to blaze a trail in technology, content development and its application. Congratulations to all concerned!”

INDE is no stranger when it comes to raising awareness on critically endangered species: they had the honour of bringing back to life the last male Northern White Rhino by creating a MobileAR application that allowed users to interact with these special creatures.

About INDE

One of the first projects for the UK-based company was developing a large-screen AR experience for National Geographic in 2011. Since then, INDE has become a fully integrated Augmented Reality product developer, with more than 200 mobile, kiosk and big-screen AR systems deployed worldwide. Its client roster includes for The Smithsonian Institution, The BBC, NBC Universal, 20th Century Fox, WWF, and numerous others.

As an increasing number of institutions and companies in entertainment, education, retail and commercial solutions are looking at innovative ways to provide unforgettable experiences to their customers and audiences, Augmented Reality has become one of the most sought-after technologies today, due to its ability to inform, engage, educate and entertain in an entirely new way.

INDE currently operates offices in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Budapest, and Los Angeles.

Learn more about INDE's large-screen and mobile Augmented Reality experiences here.


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