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8 Feb 2018

Visitors can now connect with the Garden like never before

The Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain, together with smart city enablers, ENE.HUB and Optus, have installed smart cell technology making it one of Australia’s most extensive and digital-connected spaces.

What is Connected Garden?

Smart cities are changing the world and the way people connect with one another – physical-digital spaces are now the standard and our visitors can now enjoy a Connected Garden through three new initiatives; 

  • Free WiFi and enhanced mobile coverage and connectivity by Optus

  • A new interactive Garden app

  • An improved, more accessible and content-rich website for visitors

This is only the start of our digital transformation. We want to become the most innovative and progressive botanic garden in the world and the possibilities are endless.

Kim Ellis, Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Domain

Smart Node Capabilities

This new experience allows our visitors to personally connect with the Garden, its history, stories and the people who work here. 
 

The digital-physical space is possible through the 40 ENE.HUB ‘smart nodes’ across both the Garden and Domain which help enhance 4G mobile connectivity and provide high-speed WiFi. 

They also help reduce urban clutter by integrating a range of additional services for visitors including:

  • Energy-efficient smart LED lighting and beacons

  • Ranger Assist push-buttons

  • Wayfinding signs and banners

  • Electric vehicle charge points

  • General-purpose power points

The power of free WiFi

The Garden has over five million visitors from all over the world and hosts up to 20 major events each year. The ability to use Facetime, Instagram, Snapchat or even a simple text is an important emotional connection for many of us - especially international travellers and expats who want to show Sydney to a global audience.  

We also know that there are mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors and in green spaces. With WiFi now available in the Garden, it can be used as a meeting space, a waterfront office or a space to find inspiration while catching up on emails. With Optus' investment of $5 million, all of this - and so much more - is now a reality. 

Optus listened to the Garden’s desired visitor experience and customised a solution that meets their needs today and prepares them for the digital future like 5G.

Dennis Wong, Optus Managing Director of Networks

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney App 

The Garden’s new interactive Garden app aims to connect visitors with rich stories of the Garden through a series of online tours and “around me now” augmented reality experiences.
 
The App is available in Mandarin and English, with the view for future languages to be progressively added. The app provides real-time wayfinding, access information about the plants and places within the Garden and a personal journal where users can save their favourite experiences. Other features of the app include:

  • Self-guided walking tours with audio and augmented reality (AR)

  • Read about the history of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

  • Discover restaurants, cafes, bars, amenities and other landmarks within the Garden 

  • Find out what's on and discover events and exhibitions

  • Find something special in the Garden with our easy to use search tool

  • Apple Watch integration providing real-time wayfinding and navigation

  • Available in English and Mandarin

​So, come and connect with us. Navigate through the new website (the website you're currently on), download the app from the App Store or Google Play, head to the Garden, and enjoy the connected experience. Remember to share your snaps with us along the way by using the hashtag #RBGSydney. 
 

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