Phoenix Zoo uses Google Glass to showcase animals

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Employees at the Phoenix Zoo are using Google Glass to give the world an up close and personal look at the animals.

Two months ago, zoo officials purchased the $1,500 device after Google approved the non-profit to join their “Glass Explorer Program.”

Zookeepers are sharing the device and recording videos while they tend to the animals. The videos are then uploaded to zoo's YouTube channel.

“A common question we get here at the zoo is what is it like to be a zookeeper, so through Google Glass, we are really able to give people that experience,” said Joseph Becker, digital communications specialist at the Phoenix Zoo.

Senior zookeeper Josh Crabtree demonstrated the view from Google Glass as he ran Adair, a Harris hawk, through flight exercises.

“He always takes off with a couple nice pushes of his wings to speed up, then he’ll glide in. Right before he gets to the glove, those wings tuck in. He brings those talons up in front of him to grab the glove,” said Crabtree.

“When you go back and you watch the video on our YouTube channel, it’s like you’re right there with the animals,” said Becker.

Zoo officials hope to later use Google Glass as a training tool for veterinarian students.