WWF FREE RIVERS
LEARN ABOUT A RIVERINE LANDSCAPE WITH AR.
Free | www.worldwildlife.org
Augmented reality has found a place in education, be it for primary school or higher studies. It can even teach you about sustainable development, as the Free Rivers app from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aims to do. Using Apple’s ARKit, the app builds a landscape featuring mountains, villages and forests with a river running through it. You can see the source of the river in the mountains and watch it empty itself into the delta where it joins the sea. Along the way, you get to make it rain, build a dam to flood the plain, then demolish the dam to set up wind farms. You also get to guide a raft from the source of the river to the sea, collecting ‘points’. Once you’ve had your introduction to the river ecosystem, you can ‘collect’ objects like animals and people dependent on the river to learn more about their impact on the waterway. While the landscape has been beautifully crafted, navigating the raft and ‘collecting’ objects is near impossible. No amount of tapping or selecting on icons helped us move along the storyline, making our educational experience incomplete and frustrating. It is, however, a brand-new app and we’re hoping an update will fix the navigation issue so everyone can learn about how human development affects our rivers.