Help Create the Koko App (Preview)

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Watch the video and email your feedback to inform our design of the Koko App.

The Koko App has been on the drawing board for some time now, as the ultimate portal for all of us to continue learning and being inspired by Koko.  We have finally converged on a design, and mining the multimedia data from our 5-decade research archive, and are actively seeking a technology partner to help us implement it in a way that will be easy to use and efficient on both iphone and android devices — especially in African gorilla habitat countries, where internet speeds may not be as they are in the U.S.

Please support the development of the Koko App now, so that we can make it available to everyone in 2021, and continue to add new content for years to come.


The Koko App has 5 main functions, and 7 potential beneficiaries:


  1. Learn to Sign from Koko and Penny
    — hundreds of Koko’s favorite signs (ASL and GSL)
  2. Explore the Mind of a Gorilla (and establish Empathy)
    — learn about Koko and Michael as they communicate their stories
  3. Help Transcribe 5 decades of Interspecies Communication Videos
    — look up signs by “description” and help us interpret  over 1000 hours of Koko and MIchael Videos
    — become a Citizen Scientist for Koko
  4. Help Translate Zoo Natural Gorilla Gestures
    — gorillas have a natural gestural capability (100s of untaught signs)
    — let’s build on the research and learn more of their gestures together
  5. Help Save Gorillas from Extinction and Preserve Nature
    — submit your ideas and questions for our gorilla experts to answer
    — watch tutorials on how to apply the KokoApp to advance conservation and care through communication and empathy


  1. All Great Apes
  2. Kids (all ages)
  3. Families
  4. Teachers
  5. The Deaf Community
  6. Zoo Keepers and Visitors
  7. Nature

Interspecies Communication is a vital pathway to appreciating and protecting our vanishing species as well as Nature itself.  The KokoApp will make this powerful tool more accessible with respect to great apes, and leverage one of the greatest lessons of Project Koko — all gorillas are essentially Kokos!  Thus, they all can benefit  from the gifts of 2-way communication with their human caregivers, and act as articulate ambassadors for their critically endangered species.

Watch the video to get a better sense of the planned capabilities and user interface, and then email questions and suggestions to:  [email protected].

The more feedback we get, the more we’ll be able to incorporate in the version we release next year (2022).