The Aquarium of the Pacific continues to move forward with its quest to better the environment by educating the masses through technology— this time by launching the new Pacific Visions EcoAlliance app. 

"Pacific Visions is all about making positive changes in everyday life regarding food, water and energy," Fahria Quader, director of Pacific Visions and architecture, said. "This application is another tool that we can use to teach people about what sustainability is, and how they can be a part of it."

Pacific Visions App

The app interface provides tips on how to make more environmentally-friendly decisions.

The app, available to download in the AppStore and Google Play, is an extension of the newest interactive Pacific Visions exhibit at the aquarium. Quader said that the mission for the app was to create something tangible and fun that users can utilize to not only learn more about sustainability, but play games and interact with other users.

"We wanted an app that not only keeps sustainability in mind, but people can apply it to themselves so they can take more sustainable action in their daily life," Quader said. "This app features everything from interactive challenges to bringing users in by posting photos to establishing a point system to also make it competitive to play."

The app itself was modeled after the second floor of the Pacific Visions exhibit, where guests can interact with three different touch screen tables that cater to three environmental topics: food waste, energy and water conservation. 

Pacific Visions Fahria Quader

Fahria Quader

Like the exhibit, the app features a number of quizzes, games and reading material that covers topics ranging from sustainable laundry and dish-washing practices to discovering the economic benefits of taking a bath instead of a shower. One of the app highlights uses AR (Augmented Reality) to fill buckets of water or grow AR gardens at specific locations in Long Beach, which can be found by following directions in the application.

So far, the topics covered in the application are centered solely on water conservation, but will expand to include food and energy sections within the next few weeks. As for more topics, Quader said that the team will get a feel for how users interact with the app before rolling out anymore updates.

"If it's successful, I would like to see gardens that you can help grow with the AR when you've scored enough points," she said. "Community AR gardens would be fun to see, and participate in."

But the real point, she added, is to make learning about sustainability interesting, and having the material available in a phone application is the easiest way to supply all of that information — at least for now.

Pacific Visions Interactive

The Pacific Visions installation at the Aquarium of the Pacific features interactive installations to teach guests about environmental sustainability.

"It's a matter of letting people know what's there and that there's a lot of things we can do right now to make a real impact," Quader said. "Plus, new information comes in all the time, and this is an easier way to keep people informed."

The app is free to download and accessible anywhere. Even if users are not able to experience the Pacific Visions exhibit, they can receive the exhibit's message through the app. But for now, the AR portion is only available in Long Beach.

For more information about the app, or for links to download, go to aquariumofpacific.org/visit/app.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is at 100 Aquarium Way. Go to aquariumofpacific.org/pacificvisions for more information.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

 

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