Artificial intelligence is already used in cameras for various purposes, but Resolve and Intel have teamed up and created an AI-based camera that is used for a good cause. Their TrailGuard is a camera that helps to protect endangered species in Africa. It’s able to detect, stop, and arrest poachers before it’s too late.
Although technology is already in use to protect the animals from poachers, there are some drawbacks to the existing systems. Most of them are only able to spot poachers when they’re already at the shooting range. Also, they usually send alerts as soon as they sense motion, which severely limits battery life.
TrailGuard is one of the inventions of Resolve’s WildTech program, focused on protecting wildlife by using durable, high-tech solutions. It’s an upgrade of the known systems and it seems to be improved over them. First of all, this camera detects animals, humans, and vehicles in real-time. This gives park rangers a chance to stop and catch poachers before they kill an animal.
The camera doesn’t use motion to send an alert, but only to wake up. Another good side is that it makes a distinction between animals, humans, and vehicles. This way, it will only send an alert when there’s a human in the frame. Consequently, the battery lasts much longer than with the systems currently in the market. Finally, the camera is easy to hide, because all these features are packed into a device no larger than one’s index finger.
The TrailGuard camera is announced ahead of CES 2019, and it will get rolled out relatively soon. It should be set up in 100 African reserves over the course of 2019, and it will maybe expand even to Southeast Asia and South America.
I find it interesting to see all the purposes AI can be used for when combined with cameras. But it makes me happy to see it used for a good cause. Hopefully, the TrailGuard will become widespread and indeed help protect the animals from poachers before it’s too late.