LONDON, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Breakthrough Educational App Now Available for iPad
Fountain Digital Labs' Virry, the breakthrough educational app that keeps wild animals very real for children, today won the People's Choice Webby award in the mobile sites & apps category of "Family & Kids". Virry is the first app that offers children, and animal-loving adults, the opportunity to seemingly interact with exotic animals through their iPad. Having just launched in test markets to date, Virry already has some celebrity fans (see Editor's Notes) and is now available for free download in the iTunes Store.
In addition to innovative live animal video feeds, remotely operated by experienced wildlife documentarians for BBC and Disney, what makes Virry different is that the game mechanics are built into raw film footage of real wild animals. This creates a whole new experience for children to encounter the animal world firsthand - from lions and meerkats to giraffes and rhinos. For example, the child tilts the iPad to drop a hunk of meat for Limun the lion and then shouts into the iPad to attract her attention to it and watches as Limun apparently 'responds'.
Virry was created in collaboration with academic Prof. Gail F. Melson, an authority on children's development and leader in the field of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) at Purdue University, USA. Author of Where the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children, Prof. Melson says:
"Virry supports children by broadening their perspective-taking in a self-directed environment. This is vital for developing positive social skills. Virry also builds core cognitive and learning skills in its interactive videos - skills like if-then reasoning, multi-step problem-solving, understanding abstract concepts like more-less, bigger-smaller - foundational skills for young children."
Recruiting only the brightest and the best, Virry creator Svetlana Dragayeva enlisted the help of award-winning film director Martin Percy and production powerhouse, Unit 9 to bring Virry to life. Svetlana Dragayeva, Innovation Director at Fountain Digital Labs says:
"Virry allows children to experience real wild animals but doesn't overlay the experience with crude animations, human emotions or anthropomorphism. Virry encourages parents to use digital culture to nurture children through nature.
We are honoured to win a Webby having just launched in test markets to date. Now that Virry is available to children globally, we look forward to hearing what they have to say and their experiences with our animal family."
With an unusual development approach firmly rooted in sciences - formal (computer), natural (Zoology), and social (psychology), a marked development characteristic for Virry's creators has been the necessity to balance the virtual (app) and real (wildlife) to create a fresh experience for animal loving 2-7 year olds.
Virry is filmed at Al Ain Zoo in the UAE (with more partnerships to come over time) and is brought to life by an international team of academics, award-winning film industry veterans, wildlife experts as well technology specialists. The result is an exceptionally deep educational technology experience guided by nature.
You can learn more at http://www.virryapp.com. Virry is now available for free download to iPad in the iTunes Store.
Dominic West, Actor known for playing Det. Jimmy McNulty in The Wire
"I spent all morning on Virry with my two boys and we love it. We fed a lion and watched a rhino live all from our living room sofa! It's a safe, educational and utterly compelling way to learn about the animals we love. Get on it, it's brilliant!"
"This is a terrific gateway to the wild world, a chance for kids to reach out to animals on the other side of the world. A young audience engage most effectively with wildlife when they feel like they have an actual connection to the animals, as if they can reach out and touch them, actually interacting with wild wonders. This ap enables the user to do just that, watching exotic and iconic animals in real time, taking part as their real lives and dramas unfold, whilst learning hot facts and playing games that let them feel like they are a part of the animal's world."
About Fountain Digital Labs
Established in 2013, Fountain Digital Labs is a funded company with a truly collaborative International team of more than 15 people across 4 countries. With offices in the UK and Russia, FDL's London office is at the heart of the thriving TechHub community at Silicon Roundabout.
SOURCE Fountain Digital Labs