Turn down the music, grab your phone and head outside. There is now an app that does for plants what Shazam does for music: helps you identify the species. With an estimated 400,000 plant species in the world, it is only natural that you can get lost in the world of botany. Most of us would be able to identify a handful of plants, but now there is an app that can help you get more in touch with nature.
The app, called Pl@ntNet, allows users to find out more about the world around them. The way it works is simple: users take photos of plants that catch their eye and submit them to the database, which then generates a species match. From there, the user will be able to read the definition of the plant, its scientific name and view the original country source of the species type.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s quickly gaining popularity across the world. The app, which was developed by a group of scientists and is available for free, is binding technology with the outdoors. The database works on more than 4,100 species of wild flora which are supported by images, and while that is only a fraction of the 400,000-total species worldwide, the app is certainly growing. It relies on its users to submit pictures of different plant species, so as more users come onboard, the more diverse the app will become.
So, what value does it add?
Although there is not yet a focus on edible plant types, the app will most likely expand into that field so that people can identify which plants are safe for consumption and which are not. As such, it could prove to be an extremely handy app for those who are camping in the wilderness in the future, or in the case of a zombie apocalypse where food sources may be scarce and we have to forage for food.
It’s the gardener’s Pokémon Go, where instead of walking to different locations to find rare characters, users are venturing through nature to find out what types of flora are thriving in their neighbourhood.
So, the next time you are wandering around and spy a particularly beautiful bloom or a plant that you’d like to see in your living room, open up the app and submit a picture of it to find out all you need to know!