Mister Smarty Plants™ releases mobile app
Demonstrates people still WAY better than computers at plant, flower ID
ARLINGTON, Mass., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Plant and flower identification service http://www.MisterSmartyPlants.com launched an Android app this week. The app is the worlds first dedicated to crowd-sourced plant identification. It is available in the Google Play store.
The new app brings a virtual community of plant experts to any android mobile device. The app is NOT a field guide and requires no advance knowledge of plants.
App users upload images of unknown flowers and plants they encounter, then real people work to identify the photos. After enough ID votes are entered, the photo poster is emailed or tweeted with the identification.
"Plant and flower ID is one of those tasks that humans are MUCH better at than computers," says John Ellis, the service's founder. "For example the automated LeafSnap app was developed by some of the world's best image processing experts BUT -- the app is limited to trees --- only trees in the northeast United States-- requires the user to tape a leaf flat to a paper-- and even with these restrictions has a high failure rate."
"While image processing excels at applications having a limited universe of possible matches (like the OCR used to turn scanned documents into text) it fails when there are millions of possible matches. Plant life is so diverse it just isn't a good fit for image processing, " added Ellis. "Our new app lets the user snap a pic of any plant flower or tree they encounter without restriction, and upload it to our expert community for identification."
"I started the service not because I am plant expert (I am not) but because I wanted a way to snap a picture of a plant with my mobile phone and have the phone tell me the name," explained Ellis.
Mister Smarty Plants™ has been recognized by gardening writers at The Denver Post, Ohio.com and The Roanoke Times. Since launching, Mister Smarty Plants™ has helped ID over 1,000 plants, trees, bushes and flowers from Senegal to Pakistan, and the Caribbean to the United Kingdom. See some of the identified flowers here http://www.mistersmartyplants.com/NamedPlants.aspx
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