On its quest to increasing its presence within social networks, the Johannesburg Zoo came up with an innovative way to capture internet users’ attention: A Live Tweeting Honey Badger.
Yes, you heard correctly!
The concept was designed by HelloComputer, an award-winning digital agency, and was then built by Tom VAN DEN BON, a technician at BinarySpace. HelloComputer created a sytem which consists of sensors that are both animal-friendly as well as motion-triggered, and are wirelessly connected to a base station within the zoo. Information recorded from within the badger’s living space consequently travels to the base station, then to the agency’s server, and finally to the twitter server.
The honey badger named BG was chosen due to it being particularly active both throughout the day and the night, as well as its friendly character. BG’s tweets are pre-written, however, they are solely triggered by the badger’s movement and actions. For instance, if BG touches its food bowl, the server will send out a relevant tweet letting the animal’s followers know it is having a meal. To see BG in action, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGTptt7iwj8.
The tweeting badger is now a spokes animal for the Johannesburg Zoo, and his twitter account will also serve as a tool to promote events occurring at the zoo. BG is the first of its kind, and Hello Computer’s executive creative director, Kerry FRIEND, stated that it would not be the last as, “There are plenty of candidates, ones who are on the extinction list, who could become ‘spokesanimals’ for their species as well“.