For all of you who enjoy photographing nature, or just learning more about it, iNaturalist has launched a pretty awesome app. Seek helps you identify plants and animals all around you using your phone’s camera. It’s fun, it’s useful, and it’s free.
Seek uses image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals. When you see a species you don’t recognize, open the Seek Camera and snap a photo. When you upload it to the app, the AI analyzes the picture to find a match. Once it identifies the species, it adds it to your growing collection. Plus, you’ll instantly get a summary of information from Wikipedia. The AI currently recognizes 30,000 species, but Seek developers say that they will continue to improve the app with further use.
The app motivates you to get more involved with the world around you. First, you earn badges for seeing different types of birds, amphibians, plants, and fungi. You can also participate in monthly observation challenges with Our Planet on Netflix.
Other than being fun and educational, I think this app could be useful for nature photographers. From my example, it has happened many times that I photographed a plant or a bug without knowing its name in neither English nor Serbian. Since I used to upload tons of nature photos to Shutterstock, it was a real pain in the neck to discover the names of the plants and bugs I’d shot. I remember sharing images on Twitter and Facebook, asking people to help me. “If only there were Shazam for nature,” I’d often think in those situations. Well, I’m glad to see that “Shazam for nature” now actually exists!
Unfortunately for us Android users, Seek is only available for iOS, at least for now. But all of you who use an iPhone or an iPad, you can download Seek here.
UPDATE: Seek is also available for Android (yay!) and you can download it on Google Play Store.
[via My Modern Met]