Recent advancements in touch screens and gestural interfaces have revolutionized human-computer interaction. What if these same devices could allow non-human species to use computers?
At the Pittsburgh Zoo, Max Hawkins, a young software artist, and Michelle Farmerie, a zookeeper and primatologist, have teamed up to develop interactive apps for orangutans. They believe this software will contribute to animal enrichment by allowing the orangs to express themselves in ways never before possible.
This project confronts the challenges of interspecies communication and the potential for custom software to overcome barriers between animals in zoos and their human caretakers; helping us to understand how orangs think, while empowering them with a new set of tools.