Ever wondered what that plant is? How about that animal? Or that mushroom? Instead of leaving you with questions, Seek by iNaturalist can give you the answers. And all by pointing your iPhone or iPad’s camera at the object of your intrigue.
Using the power of computer-vision artificial intelligence (as well as millions of observations from amateur taxonomists) Seek can identify all manner of living organisms within a matter of seconds.
Working in real time, the app will ply you with knowledge before you’ve even snapped a picture. Simply train your lens on a leaf, for example, and watch as its augmented reality (AR) view broadly recognises the plant’s category before offering up species-specific information.
Once the app has identified the object and provided both its common and scientific names, you can read a summary, view a map of its range, learn its full taxonomy and explore similar organisms that have been discovered nearby.
It’s also great for kids. As well as bringing learning to life, the app gamifies the hunt for new flora and fauna, with badges on offer for intrepid explorers who look for more species.
Built around an ever-growing database curated by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, Seek will help you learn about everything from that butterfly which regularly lands in your garden to the funky-looking fern you spotted on your weekend walk. Who wants to go exploring?