Green-fingered beginners and even the most seasoned of botanists will come up against plant-related challenges from time to time. Whether they are faced with a flowering plant they have never seen before, or one that they have no idea how to care for.
The smart app, PictureThis, aims to assist with all of this by harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Not only can it identify 10,000+ plant species with 95 percent accuracy, but the apps ‘plantpedia’ can also help you keep your plants alive with helpful information that informs on everything from watering frequency to pest and disease control.
The user simply takes or uploads a photo to the app and AI does the rest, pulling up a fact sheet.
The fact card IDs also include; HD images of the plant’s ideal habitat, its scientific classification, ideal planting season, soil requirements, planting difficulty and possible uses.
The app also allows users to search for plants they have heard of but not yet seen and gives information on where to find them.
Notably, the app has a strong social and community element to it with 3 million users across 209 countries and regions on all five continents. And, content can be translated into 9 languages.
Users can answer each other’s plant-related questions, share images and a news feed allows you to see which plants are being captured by other budding botanists around the world.
The app’s ‘flower map’ tab also allows users to see which plants have been tagged in their local area.
The Instagram style feed and liking system is likely a large part of the success and usability of the app — familiar and addictive.
PictureThis is made by Glority, an AI outfit based in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, China.
The company states that their app is one of the first products to apply artificial intelligence deep learning technology to the field of plant identification
The idea for PictureThis struck Glority’s CTO, Matt Chen, in the summer of 2015 when he was unable to identify a plant in the park for his young son.
Thus the app is child-friendly and a fun tool to educate children about nature interactively.
Currently [19 August 2019], it is rated as number one on Apple’s top-charting education apps, above the universally used language learning app, Duolingo.