Paul-appleby-demonstrating-wildi-appOn Wednesday 8 October, the ARKive In Your Pocket consortium gathered at Bristol Zoo to showcase the fruit of 2 year’s tech labour: an app which combines augmented reality services, GPS navigation and live video streaming from around the zoo.

Developed by the consortium, the Wild:i app made use of several cutting-edge technologies, including multicast delivery over Wi-Fi, biometric identification and, as mentioned, augmented reality. AIYP claim that their technology will “turn the conventional broadcasting paradigm inside out.”

Director Paul Appleby (pictured right, demo-ing the app) was keen to demonstrate Wild:i’s capabilities during the day. The app, designed by Mubaloo, provided visitors to Bristol Zoo with the ability to:

  • Plan their visit using a GPS-enabled map
  • Engage with the exhibits by completing quizzes and taking photos and videos which could be taken home
  • Watch video of the animals in their natural habitats
  • Stream video from a multicast service

The final aspect of Wild:i’s capabilities was the most innovative. Earlier this year, the BBC streamed the Commonwealth Games live over 4G, with the help of Huawei, Qualcomm and EE. AIYP took this one step further by designing a multi-media multicast system for Wi-Fi enabled tablets and smartphones. Wild:i is effectively the world’s first scalable platform for rich multimedia content delivery.

Broadcasting to the multitude

Although it is already possible to deliver video content to a small number of users using the current unicasting framework, broadcasting to a large number of users would quickly become unfeasible. The tendency for multicasting to create high packet loss compounds the problem.

Working with Broadcom, however,  AIYP configured their multicast servers to run at high data rates through several channels, enabling the broadcast of videos like the footage of an Aye Aye below to be streamed in HD to a multitude of devices at any one time.


The benchmark AIYP have set for broadcasting over Wi-Fi does seem likely to shake up the current paradigm. The system was more than capable of catering to a group of around 40 attendees on the day, but there are several routes the consortium are now keen to see multicasting exploit.

Andrew Nix, head of wireless innovation for AIYP, noted that since multicasting is capable of delivering video streams to “…hundreds of users per access point”, the system would be ideal for use in public spaces or on public transport. With a little adaptation, Wild:i could feature at Bristol Harbour Festival next year.

Bristol is Open, a joint venture between the city council and Bristol University also presents an excellent opportunity for Wild:i to showcase location specific services.

“…pictures tell the stories. There’s fabulous potential in multicasting – delivering context-sensitive experiences that are selected and pulled down by the individual users to provide just what they want”


When speaking to us about the challenges of working in a consortium, Wild:i director Paul Appleby said: “It’s been great to work with such an expert consortium, built on strong relationships between University of Bristol, Provision and Toshiba, and my relationship with Mubaloo, BBC and ARKive, all co-ordinated by 3CR.

wildi-app-bristol-zoo-ant-room“We’ve used cutting-edge Wi-Fi and video compression systems to deliver the service, and really pushed visual navigation and picture quality in the user experience.

“I’ve tried to minimise the amount of text, because pictures tell the stories. There’s fabulous potential in multicasting – delivering context-sensitive experiences that are selected and pulled down by the individual users to provide just what they want. It means that any location can have a video-based service overlaid in the way we achieved at Slimbridge and Bristol Zoo Gardens.

“The question is ‘how do you want to bring your location to life?”

You can find out more about AIYP by heading to their website.

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