According to Julia Gualtieri
Catch them all! No, it’s not the new Pokémon game, but the Sea Scan app, designed at the Sea Life aquarium in Val d’Europe. Thanks to your smartphone, you can scan the fish and learn everything about them, down to their Latin name! “We added fun facts, funny little anecdotes in addition to the description, its geographical origin…” explains Antoine Sureau, Marketing Manager of Serris Aquarium.
From 21/09/2022, the aquarium released its application and the beginnings are rather positive. “It’s very easy to use, very intuitive,” adds Antoine Sureau.
Scanning aquarium fish
Nothing insurmountable, really. Just scan the QR code and download the app that is free, release and does not require any personal data.
Then it’s up to you: with the camera, once the fish is recognized, its name is displayed, you click on it and it’s in the box. Or rather inside aquadexinspired by the Pokedex, with this irrepressible desire collect.
It can be used as a learning tool or as a game with tasks that are like challenges to be completed.
If it seems simple to use, creating Sea Scan was not an easy task. Because no, the aquarium didn’t stick a QR code on their fish. It is Artificial Intelligence which recognizes the filmed species and displays its description.
He challenged Sea Life to achieve this technological feat TIKOand starting up created by three young engineers from ECE Paris, passionate about the marine world. “More like they found us!” ” says Laurent Tareau, director.
Three young engineers behind AI
As he discusses with his teams the desire to restore access to information in the aquarium, the next day he receives an email from a trio of engineers who carried out their year-end project… fish recognition technology. Bingo!
It was unexpected! We’ve looked everywhere, nobody has done it for fish like it can be done for plants or for music with Shazam for example. So this is the first! »
So together they developed the Sea Scan, which is now able to recognize 134 species out of 300 in the aquarium. “Artificial intelligence needs thousands of photos before it recognizes a fish. The challenge comes mainly from movement and light, with reflections in the water it’s very difficult,” explains Laurent Tareau.
A new way of providing information
Since its launch, the feedback has been good. The application is rated 8.9/10 and if we exclude schools and groups, 25% of visitors use it. “We had a problem with our information panels, which are not visible enough and only in French and English. However, the clientele is international. We accept 30 to 40 different nationalities,” explains Antoine Sureau. So Sea Scan is available in 7 languages.
Using a device that everyone already wears, the aquarium can even provide more information.
Information has been added to raise public awareness of ocean conservation, such as the dangers of plastic pollution to ocean turtles or the number of sharks killed each year just for their fins. Even if visitors do not have time to read everything on site, they can return to it in the evening at home, browsing the aquadex.
The concept pleases until other Sea Life aquariums around the world contacted Val d’Europe: “There is interest in ten locations, 8 in Europe, one in the United States and one in Australia. We are starting a giant test phase and if the duplication is convincing, why not expand it to 44 Sea Life in the world! “, enthuses Laurent Tareau.
Sea Life: in the Val d’Europe shopping centre. Open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm. Contact: 01 60 42 33 50. information: visitsealife.com/paris/.
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