(Image from Instant Wild)There are only so many times you can flip through your friends’ vacation photos or Instagram collections of food before they all start to blur together. Perhaps you’re looking for some different photos to look at – how do animals at a watering hole in Kenya strike your fancy?
If you want to help the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in its mission of animal protection, all you have to do is download an app. Currently available for iPhone, Instant Wild has you playing the part of zoologist yourself as you look through images of animals, trying to identify them. The system is pretty straightforward: cameras are set up at watering holes at various sites in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the U.K. and the U.S. Each time a camera is triggered by movement (up to 30 times a day), users get notified that there’s a new image. The user looks at the photo and selects from a list of animals to help identify what’s in the image.
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While the project has been around since 2011, the ability to help combat poaching is relatively new.
“The cameras have the ability now to instantly transmit images of intruders to park rangers,” Richard Traherne, head of the wireless division at Cambridge Consultants (the company behind the technology) told Mashable. “In the future, ZSL are investigating options to detect vehicles from vibrations and triangulate the sound of gunshots, so that park rangers can pinpoint the location of poachers and intervene immediately. The cameras use infrared flash technology, not using white light to not scare the animals or make the poachers aware of their presence."
Click here to download the app for iPhone if you want to participate in the project.
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