By Andrew Liszewski
I always thought a trip to the zoo was all about looking at exotic animals, but I guess I was wrong. This Fall the London Zoo will start offering its guests a handheld device called the Node Explorer (for a small fee) that will allow them to participate in an interactive adventure as they try to locate a missing zoo keeper. (It was the tiger, in the library, with the candlestick.) As they work to complete the various challenges and quests that make up the two and a half hour adventure, they’ll also be learning about the Zoological Society of London and its conservation mission.
Of course the gadget crowd will really only be interested in the Node Explorer itself. The handheld device is powered by an AMD Au1200 400MHz processor with integrated hardware video decoding and features a 320×240 TFT transflective touch screen display that’s specifically designed for use in direct sunlight. Content is either stored on an SD card or streamed via a wifi network, and is automatically triggered based on the location of the Explorer thanks to the built-in Fast Fix GPS chipset. On a 3 hour charge the device can provide an impressive 8 hours of continuous video playback, and not surprisingly it’s not only splash-proof, but is also easy to clean and disinfect.