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Identifying plants with your phone?

March 9, 2012

Smartphone Agroforestry

Submitted by Chris Mesiku on March 8, 2012

Imagine taking a walk in an Agroforestry garden or a national botanic garden while having at your fingertips all the information for each plant and tree in those parks. A new smartphone app that is currently in the design phase promises to turn this dream into reality very soon.

The smartphone app called iBoPlanet currently being designed and developed by Steve Bowen from Florida, USA, is tipped to be the first of its kind.

Combined with its plant identification function, the app is set to be able to give nutritional, medicinal and other useful information related the plant it identifies. It could have far reaching applications even for rural farmers and scientists alike.

Asked about how the app will work, Steve said one of the options is to use the phone camera to image any tree or plant then the camera’s CPU will work out the “exact dimensions, shapes, lobes, sinus, veins, …midribs, margins, and leaf blades and cross reference that image with databases of images of hundreds of websites…determine the species of a plant or tree.” He mentions that the World Agroforestry Centre maybe one of those database sources.

The Centre has a number of databases available to the public such as the Agroforestree Database and Tree seeds database which can all be found on the Centre’s website.

Read more on the iBoPlanet app;

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2012 10:08:56 am

    That is good news! I want to have this app!

    • March 9, 2012 10:08:07 am

      Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves. LeafSnap didn’t quite nail it, but is worth checking out.. Considering the vast diversity of plants in the world, it’s quite an undertaking.

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