A new app transforms Times Square into an actual animal jungle this month

Courtesy of a new augmented reality app.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Concrete Jungle
Photograph: Courtesy of Jamestown

Times Square already feels like a jungle but, this August, expect to see parrots, elephants, giraffes, lions and crocodiles in the neighborhood as well—albeit virtually.

A new app-based augmented reality experience called Concrete Jungle has just debuted, literally transforming the public plazas into a playground for animals. The app is produced by Jamestown, the owner and developer of One Times Square (yes, that's the skyscraper where a visitor's center with a viewing deck is soon opening).

After downloading the app, users will get to access five different viewing environments, each one home to a different group of animals plus virtual games and in-app photo capabilities alongside a virtual animal companion. The zones include birds, insects, jungle, reptiles and savanna. Given its pretty advanced technology, the app, which you can download right here and will be available through August 31, will be responsive to both your movements and the time of day during which you're using it. 

"We continue to welcome over 400,000 New Yorkers and tourists every day to Times Square, which reaches pre-pandemic levels, and are thrilled to welcome the Concrete Jungle as the newest virtual experience that combines the latest in technology and innovation to the Crossroads of the World," said Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance, in an official statement about the project. "One Times Square is a historic property as the site of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, and we look forward to welcoming the virtual safari experience that will be one of many new and exciting opportunities to experience the best of Times Square."

Cleary the developers are betting big on the area given the $500 million redevelopment of the 118-year-old building Ones Times Square. In addition to the much-anticipated viewing deck that's going to open on site, New Yorkers will soon also get to experience a museum that will explore the history of the building and Times Square as a whole, also delving into the importance of the annual New Year's eve celebration.

What can we say? We always think of Times Square as the wilderness, and now we have another reason to feel that way. 

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