When I last blogged about Rainforest Connection they were upcycling old phones and using them to be guardians of rainforests. By analyzing audio streams the organization is able to detect chainsaws and other hazards and send messages to people in the field to intercept illegal loggers and poachers. Recently I received an update from the team announcing their new mobile app, which I quickly downloaded. Not only does the app provide live streams from locations such as Ecuador, Romania and Brazil, but it also has 360 view available for some (VR cardboard friendly). It’s fascinating to see the locations of the hardware clusters and to have a sense of the beauty of the wildlife. The sounds are so colorful with collaboration from insects, leaves and the occasional bird. The images used to represent the different locations also offer further connection to the wildlife and people living on the land.
The organization has been expanding its network, both in hardware and allies.
Our system is currently deployed in Ecuador, Peru, Romania and Brazil, where we are listening across tens of thousands of hectares of endangered forest for sounds of illegal logging and other environmental threats. We’ve also developed close partnerships with government institutions, NGOs, and indigenous peoples – and we anticipate great things in the near future from these partnerships. In the next 6 months we are expanding our work further in the Brazilian Amazon.
Other news includes AI for sound detection, which will really make this a complete package. The work is timely considering preserving rainforests is one of the top ways to reduce global warming according to Paul Hawken’s new book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. So, check out the app available on IOS and Google for some rainforest enjoyment—it’s all about spreading the education.