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Axis network cameras show what’s going on in the magical underwater world of Toba Aquarium
Live cameras convey the aquarium’s appeal
MissionToba Aquarium is built in scenic Iseshima, in Mie Prefecture, Japan. This aquarium is a world leader in terms of its size and exhibition content. In twelve zones that recreate the natural environment, the denizens of the oceans and rivers are cared for and exhibited. The aquarium is designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a center for social welfare and education. The facility is also active in academic research. Toba Aquarium focuses on the nurturing and protection of rare marine species at risk of extinction. It has established records in the birth of black finless dolphins, the first second-generation sea otter born in Japan, and the world’s only saltwater manatee born in captivity. It is already well known as a favorite site for tourists and visitors to the Iseshima area. However, the aquarium’s officials, wondering if there was a way to convey the attractions of the facility to more people, searched for an effective way to use the popularity of the Internet.
SolutionA publisher proposed a plan that would allow living creatures to be observed over the Internet. Consequently, “Coral Reef Diving”, one of the tanks already popular at the aquarium, was opened to the public through the use of a camera for the display of live images. A large coral reef is recreated in a tank measuring 16mx15mx5.5m, with a capacity of 1,320 tons. It is the world’s first trial aquarium with a viewing gallery covered in acrylic on the ceiling, front, left and right walls. Even without actually diving, it is possible to feel as though one is suspended in the coral reef. Cameras installed on both sides and in the rear of the viewing gallery film the coral reef and the fishes swimming through it. This footage is then made public on the Toba Aquarium website. The sensation this provides is very close to viewing the real thing.
ResultSince going public, there has been an increase in the numbers of people accessing the website with the keyword “live camera”. It is fairly difficult to estimate the results regarding actual guests. However, one merit of the footage is that it makes one feel as though he or she is really watching ocean diving, and it does so in a way that pictures and words can’t achieve. “I believe one big advantage of a live camera that makes use of an IP network is that it can transmit the amusement and charm of living creatures in a timely manner,” says Mr. Mizukoshi, Curator of the Toba Aquarium.
Related linksToba Aquarium
AXIS 221 Network Camera
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