A new augmented reality feature in the arrivals terminal at Canberra Airport showcases some of the Canberra region's tourism experiences. Photo: Clare Sibthorpe
The augmented reality visitor experience shows players a reflection of themselves on a large screen.
It simulates three scenarios: taking part in the National Zoo and Aquarium's meet a cheetah experience, using a torchlight to spot bettongs seen on the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust tours or watching a whale breaching on the Sapphire Coast.
Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron and Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay try out the simulated 'meet a cheetah' scenario. Photo: Clare Sibthorpe
The game is a first for Australian airports, according to Amber Standley, the CEO and founder of APositive, the augmented reality agency behind the project.
"Initially it wasn't going to be interactive but we decided to integrate with Xbox Connect for facial recognition and gesture recognition, which it combines with augmented reality and gamification," she said.
"We hope people get a deeper engagement for these institutions. You have limited interaction when you put an object in an airport but with this you're bending down, you're patting things, you're getting a much more memorable experience and our hope is by giving people a mini-experience they'll want to go and see the real one."
APositive CEO and founder Amber Standley says Canberra Airport is the first to introduce a virtual reality visitor experience. Photo: Clare Sibthorpe
Passengers touching down at Canberra Airport won't miss the huge screen, which is located next to the baggage pick-up at the main departure entrance.
The installation was co-funded on a matched dollar-for-dollar basis through the 2014-15 Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program in partnership with the Canberra Airport and VisitCanberra.
Canberra Airport's managing director Stephen Byron and Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay get up close and personal with a whale at the Saphire Coast. Photo: Clare Sibthorpe
Arts and Community Events Minister Gordon Ramsay said it was one of the ACT government's initiatives working towards ACT's Tourism 2020 target of growing the profit of overnight visits by 25 per cent to $2.5 billion by 2020.
"The ACT government has put in $248,000 into this as part of the dedication to making sure the tourism industry grows and makes sure the way people arrive in this city is exciting, fun and vibrant," he said.
"One of the best things about the region is the diversity of experiences that you can have, and this shows that you can go out to the woodlands and find bettongs, you can get down to the coast in just a short drive and see whales and you can pat a cheetah."
The Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary has successfully reintroduced the eastern bettong to the ACT after it was extinct to mainland Australia for more than a century.