How Google Glass is saving rhinos
World Wildlife Fund teams up with Google to create an app that allows field researchers to study threatened animal species. Rhinos in Nepal are the first creatures to be studied.
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM
WWF Senior Research Officer Sabita Malla. (Photo: WWF)
Google Glass has a variety of features that allow users to do everything from read news and take photos to watch videos and tweet. But the wearable computer recently added a new capability: aiding conservation efforts.
The World Wildlife Fund has been exploring ways Google Glass can help save endangered species through Google's Giving Through Glass initiative.
Their joint efforts led to the development of Field Notes, an app currently being tested in Nepal that enables field researchers to take hands-free notes.
The app allows researchers to compile critical information on species by using voice commands to record data like sex, age and unique characteristics, as well as take photos and video and mark locations through GPS.
This data can then be sent to a database and shared with other researchers.
WWF Senior Research Officer Sabita Malla has been using Field Notes to track and study threatened rhinos in Nepal.
The greater one-horned rhino is one of Nepal's conservation success stories. The animals' original habitat extended through several Asian countries, but by 1975 poaching and habitat loss had reduced the population to just 600 animals.
Thanks to conservation efforts, the population rose to 2,575 individuals by 2007, which led the species to be reclassified from endangered to vulnerable.
Today, there are more than 2,900 greater one-horned rhinos, making it the most plentiful of the three Asian rhino species.
Watch the video below to see how Google Glass and Field Notes are aiding Malla's rhino research efforts.
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