iNaturalist is already a "must have" app for nature lovers. Using iNaturalist, anyone can take a picture of any living creature they find in the wild, provide whatever information they know about it, and get help identifying it from professional and amateur scientists. It's a dead simple way for anyone, anywhere to contribute to science.
This new update to iNaturalist ups the bar tremendously. Now you just point your camera at any kind of wildlife (animal, plant, insect, whatever), and iNaturalist will use artificial intelligence to try and identify it. It's like having a Star Trek-type tricorder in your pocket!
How well does it work? Remarkably well from my quick tests with animal specimens I had near me at the museum. Eric Simons on Bay Nature agrees. "I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it seems like it mostly works. It is completely astonishing," he writes.
How many times have you been out and about, seen a weird beetle or a bird with odd plumage or an unfamiliar flower and wondered, "What the heck is that?" Now, just by taking a picture you can get a nearly instant answer to that question. That's a game changer!