We have become the newest UK charity to use virtual reality (VR) to help communicate the plight of animals in decline. And, uniquely, we are giving the public an opportunity to try their own VR experience for free, simply by using their mobile phone.
In recent months we have been using VR technology to allow members of the public an opportunity to ride on the back of a toad as it makes its journey to a breeding pond. The experience culminates in a migration through a busy wildlife tunnel that runs underneath a road. During the VR experience, users come face-to-face with snakes, hedgehogs and a chorus of boisterous toads, as well as learning all about the threats that toads face in the modern world.
“We wanted the public to get more of a real feel for what it was like to be an amphibian – we wanted to shrink them down and show them the threats facing the animals we represent directly. We wanted to try something daring and a bit different. Virtual reality seemed like the best mechanism to allow us to do this,” said Froglife Chief Executive, Kathy Wormald. “So far, our expectations have been wildly over-exceeded and feedback has been universally positive”.
So that as many people as possible can enjoy the experience, we have also released a simple VR experience that runs on any Android phone. The app, called TOADSVR, allows users to learn more about the threats that amphibians such as toads face, especially the impact that roads can have on their annual migrations to breeding ponds. Users simply plug their phone into a VR headset -some of which cost as little as £5- and off they go.
You can download TOADSVR here. If you like it, please give TOADSVR a really good rating and tell everyone you know on social media!
Take a look at a clip from our Toad VR Experience below: