SmARtview: Using Game Tech to enhance animal welfare

Agri-EPI Centre, an Agri-Tech Innovation Centre based in Edinburgh, entered the InGAME Applied Games Lab looking to explore how game technology could help improve animal welfare and productivity in the dairy sector.

Applied Games Lab

InGAME’s Applied Games Lab harnesses the massive potential of videogames to solve problems, boost productivity and drive positive change in the real world. The lab is an innovation playground that de-risks investment in the application of game design and immersive technologies to build a better future for us all.

InGAME hosted a four-hour Applied Games Lab in late January 2020. Our world-class academic team worked with Agri-EPI Centre to shape and de-risk a collaborative application to the Transforming Food Production Competition.

The lab achieved its purpose, with UKRI awarding SmARtview £250,000 to conduct a feasibility study.

What happened next?

InGAME Co-Investigator, Professor Ruth Falconer, on site at the South West Dairy Development Centre

Work on the feasibility study has brought together colleagues from Abertay University, Agri-EPI Centre, vetPartners and local game studio Pocket Sized Hands to prototype a new Augmented Reality (AR) tool. The Artificial Intelligence-based system can recognise a cow by its skin patterns and uses a Microsoft Hololens 2 AR headset to display health and productivity data about an animal as a user views it. Agri-EPI Head of Dairy Duncan Forbes explained:

“By using the type of technology that is becoming extremely advanced in the video gaming world, we hope to be able to take the care and treatment of dairy cattle into a new era.

“The beauty of this project is that it combines farmers’ and vet’s experienced ‘eyes’ with real-time data: technology is being used to enhance, rather than replace, human skills. In addition, SmAtview could provide a solution to one of the key challenges of on-farm technology – while different devices like robotic milkers, sensors and collars can already collect plentiful data, its lack of integration limits insight to drive decision-making.”

Agri-EPI Head of Dairy Duncan Forbes, December 2020,

Interested in participating in an Applied Games Lab?

InGAME is always looking for partners to explore how games technology and practices can be applied. Please contact us to find out more.