Chimani has announced the launch of its latest app BearChat, the first social networking channel geared toward connecting humans and bears.
The National Park Service celebrates its Centennial in 2016, and park officials expect to see a record breaking year for park visitation.
“Park visitors are going to be looking for new, fun, and exciting things to do when they get to the national parks this year,” said Theodore “Teddy” Mather, park environmentalist. “We think allowing them to communicate and send selfies back and forth with the bears is a great way to engage the modern visitor.”
The app works as a translation device, allowing humans and bears to chat with each other by video or instant message, all without the need for a cellular connection.
“When we were first approached with the idea of creating an app to socialize with the bears, we were pretty stumped,” said Kerry Gallivan, CEO and Co-Founder of Chimani. “Honestly, we weren’t even sure how the bears would hold a smartphone. They don’t even have opposable thumbs… This was a challenge we’d really need to sink our teeth into.”
As is typical with Chimani’s park guide apps, no stone was left unturned when it came to integrating the latest in mobile technology. To overcome the size of the typical bear paw and the difficulty of using a smartphone touchscreen, we created a new voice-command technology which we call “Roar.”
“It was clear early on that allowing the bears to connect, engage, and interact with humans was only the beginning,” said Gallivan. “We wanted to be sure our app could translate the different bear dialects from the Alaskan Katmai Bear to the mighty Grizzly of Yellowstone. And then there was the challenge of teaching the bears how to use it! I think I can speak for the entire team when I say we are all very eager to receive our first bear selfies when the app goes live on April Fools Day.”