The Bird Buddy aims to identify its feathered visitors by selfie or song, and connects to an app for a gamelike collecting experience and conservation effort.
The Bird Buddy project launched on Kickstarter this week wants to lure you into a whole new world of bird-watching mixed with a touch of Pokemon Go and a dash of conservation efforts. This smart bird feeder is designed to:
- Identify bird species by photo or audio.
- Connects to a mobile app that collects each species in your personal collection.
The bird feeder is a clear, fillable container that holds up to 3.8 cups of birdseed and weighs a little over 2.5 pounds when full.
It’s equipped with a camera that looks a lot like a smart doorbell. It’s also promising 5MP photos and 720P live video with a 120-degree field of view. Connect the camera to your 2.4GHZ Wi-Fi network for mobile notifications every time it senses a visitor.
Gotta catch ’em all … sort of
The Pokemon Go catchphrase applies here in a way. You’re not actually catching birds, but you are capturing their images to collect and organize in a gamified app. That data also contributes to an open-source platform tracking bird migrations and populations to help conservation efforts.
Yes, that includes your location data. If you’re not big on sharing that type of data, this bird feeder might not be for you. Knowing the location of my feeder is helping conservationists track bird populations does make it a bit easier to swallow, but I wouldn’t fault anyone for being reluctant.
The artificial intelligence built into the Bird Buddy camera
The artificial intelligence built into the Bird Buddy camera is supposed to recognize over 1,000 bird species. A quick Google search turns up a factoid from the American Museum of Natural History, suggesting there may be 18,000 species in the entire world.
If your feathered friend didn’t get a clear selfie or video clip in the camera, there’s still a chance the Bird Buddy can identify it. The camera’s microphone and AI are designed to identify birds by song as well as a photo. Once the bird is identified, you unlock that species’ badge in the corresponding app.
Right now, the Super Early Bird price is $153 per bird feeder. Additional accessories include a wall mount, fence mount, or suet ball holder, each sold separately.
Finally, The Bird Buddy project is aiming for a September 2021 delivery date to Kickstarter backers. You can find out more about the campaign on its Kickstarter page.