Orangutans will learn to play digital games at Zoos Victoria in Melbourne

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Previous research has found that orangutans are interested in using and playing with technology. Tablets or touchscreen computers had been tested with some limits because the animal needs to be able to operate the device by touch. “They enjoyed using the tablet but we wanted to give them something more, something they can use when they choose to,” says Dr Sherwen. This time the orangutans will be using advanced technology incorporated in the Microsoft Xbox Kinect, which uses voice and body gestures to control the gaming console. The animals will “bodily engage” with a full body-sized screen. Researchers are now developing computer games, painting applications and picture galleries specifically designed for the orangutans with the goal to study their comportment and capacity of reaction. Within a few years the orangutans could be playing digital games with visitors.

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