ABA praises Waite’s Guide and iBird

In the recent “Tools of the Trade” section of the latest Birding magazine, Diana Doyle explores how to leverage technology to help the identification problem when birding. She has some pretty good things to say about iBird Ultimate and Waite’s Guide, including…

It has the most sophisticated algorithm, incorporates live location, shows search results in real-time (with a slideshow option), and has the most fine-grained advanced key choices.”

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This article previously appeared in the May/June 2014 publication of Birding magazine, a publication of the American Birding Association http://aba.org/  
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USA Today: Birding makes big tracks in 2013…

Mitch Waite, creator of iBird PRO, hopes birders will augment their field glasses with his new Glass Birds — a Google Glass app with its sights set on a mid-2014 release ($30 for iPhone; $10 for Android). Imagine: You see a bird perching in a tree. You tell Glass, “Identify bird.” The app knows your location and eliminates possibilities based on range and habitat, then narrows attributes by shape, size, color, markings — all instantaneously, via voice commands. The interface projects images onto Glass’ prism optics, making the screen appear 25 feet away, so it’s not so in-your-face as you navigate through the puzzle.

It’s not exactly The Terminator, Waite says. “Today’s technology isn’t sophisticated enough to scan something 50 feet away and come up with an ID on its own.” Nor can any software nail a bird by song alone. “The reason programs like Shazam work is an imprint coded into digital songs. All you need is a couple of seconds of 1’s and 0’s to get a match. But birds have two sets of vocal tracks, and they play the most complex frequencies.”

So the good news: Birders are not in danger of being replaced by cyborgs anytime soon.

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iBird: See where we’re headed

People love birds; in fact there are 98 million bird enthusiasts. But identification with book-based field guides is difficult. If I had Glass I would take bird identification to a whole new level. Watch how Glass magically identifies birds.

Mercury News: Fanboys and fangirls descend upon Macworld 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Heavy on the celebrity quotient and jam-packed with enough Apple (AAPL) technology to please the most discriminating fanboy and fangirl, the 29th Macworld opened Thursday for its annual three-day run at the Moscone Center.

One of those apps, a $20 beauty called iBird, was mesmerizing onlookers Thursday afternoon, as the sound of iPhone-borne bird calls filled the corner of the bustling exhibition hall. iBird’s Crystal Adams calls the app “the most powerful search engine for birds out there. And it’s sure easier to carry your guide in a smartphone than lugging around a bunch of books in woods.”

She quickly described the process of using the app to figure out what kind of bird just flew over your head. “You start with the geographic region you’re in, then select its shape, color, size and other attributes from 36 search attributes until you zero in on your bird.”