Since the 90’s we’ve enjoyed a technology called Music OCR, a technique used to distill audio into data that can be searched for to determine metadata such as the title or composer. But what if this technology could be applied to other things, beyond music? Warblr aims to do just that. The app allows birdsong to be recorded and searched for to identify the species.
Warblr was developed by Dan Stowell, a scientist at Queen Mary University of London and Florence Wilkinson, communications professional, former Senior Account Manager at Livity. Not only will the app educate the user in the world of birds, but the data collected will be shared with researchers and conservationists to help monitor and protect them.
“Warblr is the result of years of hard work, and we are so excited to finally be able to share it with our nation of bird-lovers! Whilst we didn’t make our target on Kickstarter, the community we built during the process have been incredible, forming a crack team of over 100 beta testers to help us refine the app, and even helping to write descriptions for the over 2202 British bird species that Warblr can now recognise.
I come from both a digital background, and a background of working with young people, and I’ve witnessed the growing gap between Gen Y and our natural world first hand. We sincerely hope that Warblr will help to bridge this gap, whilst also allowing us to gather and share valuable data for research.” – Warblr co-founder Florence Wilkinson
The app failed to reach its target of £50k on Kickstarter last year but were picked up by Queen Mary University of London’s Innovation Fund (supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) who awarded them a grant to continue the project. Warblr is now available in the Apple App Store for the iPhone, priced at £3.99.