Mike Bongiovanni

InVue Admin

In a partnership with the Buffalo Zoo and Kaleida Health, InVue has launched ZooTV at the brand new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital. ZooTV brings live camera feeds from the Buffalo Zoo into every patient’s television at Oishei, as well as an interactive website patients can access from their personal devices. The goal of this project was to provide children at the hospital with a fun, interactive, and educational way to pass time. With truly live feeds, it’s almost like you’re visiting the Zoo from your hospital room.

The first phase of this project represents almost a year of hard work and collaboration between the partnership, and is set up for some exciting enhancements in the future.

How does ZooTV work?

Tuning into the first channel at any TV in the hospital will bring up ZooTV. The default view on televisions and personal devices is the “All” cam, which rotates between all active live feeds at the Zoo. On the backend, the Zoo staff is easily able to control which animal feeds are active. They can set default time(s) every day that the live feeds should be running on the website, and there are emergency switches if a camera needs to be shut off immediately.

In addition, when viewing ZooTV you will see Fun Facts randomly pop up that match with the animal on screen. Quiz questions will also periodically appear, which are multiple choice and disappear 1 by 1 until only the correct answer remains. All of this is also managed by the Zoo staff in the backend of the website.

When live feeds are not toggled on (after-hours or in the event of an emergency), prerecorded footage is displayed on screen; this ensures that there is always something live on the channel. The Zoo manages this library and playlist, and can easily add or remove new clips. The database of prerecorded footage is growing every day, so you can expect to see new content regularly when watching ZooTV!

The TV inside each room is one way to view ZooTV. Functionality coming very soon will allow you to also access the channel on your personal device by navigating to http://www.buffalozootv.org. Note that this website only works if you are on hospital grounds. Accessing the website from a personal device adds another layer of interactivity by allowing you to select a specific animal and only seeing that animal on the screen. If you love gorillas, you can focus on the gorilla exhibit and watch them all day long.

The Future of ZooTV

There are a lot of exciting additions InVue plans on making to ZooTV. Right now, there are currently 13 different live camera feeds covering 7 different exhibits: Rainforest, Maned Wolf, Giraffe, Gorilla, Polar Bear, Arctic Fox, and Tiger. The next phase of the project will bring more animals, and different views of each exhibit into the website. With that will also be more fun facts, quiz questions, and prerecorded animal footage.

InVue is working closely with the Zoo to keep rolling out new features that will enhance the ZooTV experience and keep it exciting. Reach out to us on our contact form with any ideas on what you’d like to see added to ZooTV, and maybe you’ll see it rolled out!