Dr Doolittle isn’t the only human who can talk to the animals. Visitors to Sandy Feet Farm can receive calls on their mobiles from Lucy the Alpaca, Goujon the chicken, Kathleen the Highland Cow or Róisín the Dexter, as they stroll round Kerry’s newest family attraction.
By swiping their smartphones on a nearby plaque, visitors will get a call from one of the animals. Each has a different story to tell. Goujon the Chicken for example, can recall over 100 human faces, while Lucy the Alpaca loves to explain how she guards her flock and keeps the foxes at bay. Using facts, humour and mobile technology, the service, called Talking Animals, helps young people engage with the farm’s animals, learning their distinctive traits and habits. “Sandyfeet Farm is a family-run, open farm with a strong commitment to education,” says Eleanor, who runs the farm with her husband Roy Bowler. “The children love the idea of Talking Animals and find them entertaining and engaging. Who could resist hearing directly from a chatty alpaca?”
Eleanor explains the technology is easy to use because there’s no need to install an app, you just tap your phone and off it goes! Each plaque has 3 kinds of built-in technology, she says: NFC, a short URL and a QR code and there is no charge for using it, apart from the standard network data charges. Talking Animals was funded with support from the LEO, Kerry. It is produced by Sing London, who developed Talking Statues Dublin and Talking Statues Wexford.