Today we presented the project at the Zoological Society London. Alex discussed some of the technical challenges with the little hardware detector we are designing – a tiny cicada detector that we intend to produce for just £1. The target is to run it on a 8 MHz Atmel ATtiny5 with 32 bytes of RAM (that is BYTES!) and 512 bytes of program space. Early results show that it can perform really well!
The picture here on the side shows how the audience reacted to the idea! :)
From this day of presentations, I got the idea that so many apps are now being developed around the conservation biology area, and lots of our efforts could be joined together. There are already some toolkits that can help with that, for example EpiCollect, who also presented today.However, many of these apps rely entirely on the citizens to do much of the hard work, by only providing, for example, a tool to take a picture and upload it online. I believe we can use these smartphones for much more than that, giving the computational power and all the sensors they have.
What do you think? Is it better to put an app together quickly and let the many users do most of the hard work, or to spend a bit more time developing some clever algorithm behind it and ease the load from the users (with the risk of being less engaging)?
Learn more about the day from twitter on #smarterscience – not much this time, since twitter wasn't working in ZSL!