Ever wondered what you are to do with your castoff smartphone? Now you can put it to work combating rainforest destruction activities in real time.
That is exactly what San Francisco startup Rainforest Connection implies. By upcycling old smartphones into solar-powered listening devices, the founders of the project provide real-time monitoring of endangered forests, thus preventing illegal logging and poaching.
The concept is to program such electronic detectives to pinpoint any sign of treecutting chainsaw sounds or animal distress calls and send an alert via text message to local agencies so they can catch loggers at the scene of the crime. More than that, anyone who has the Rainforest Connection mobile app can enjoy listening to live sounds of the rainforest anytime, from anywhere.
“Anyone in the world can receive the alert; the key piece is to have someone on the ground who is going to show up there and do something about it,” said Dave Grenell, one of the project co-founders.
At this time, the Rainforest Connection team is seeking to raise about $100,000 in a Kickstarter campaign that started this week and already has about $17, 000 pledged.