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Detecting deforestation by recycled smartphones

  • Posted on : July 3, 2014 by

    Categories: News
    Rainforest Connection

    A San Francisco non-profit start-up Rainforest Connection (RFCx) has designed a solution that can halt illegal logging and poaching in the rainforests. For this, they’re recycling old smartphones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can detect deforestation and alert the authorities about any illegal activity going on in the forest. The system can detect the sound of a chainsaw, a gunshot or the logging truck and immediately sends a text message to the local authorities.


    How it actually works?


    Firstly, the microphones in the solar-powered devices detect the sound of the chainsaw or gunshot. Then the software transmits this audio signal to the Rainforest Connection Cloud API (Application Programming Interface). After that, a real-time alert is received by a responsible agent or the local authorities, alarming them to take immediate action.


    According to Rainforest Connection Founder Topher White in a statement, “It’s clear that real-time awareness and intervention is a major missing piece in protecting the world’s last remaining rainforests. By using old smartphones and existing telecommunications infrastructure, we have built a system that should scale quickly enough to make an impact.”


    Rainforest Connection is partnering with Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time solution at sites in Cameroon. This system will soon be deployed in the endangered forests of Central Africa. The return of the system is huge. “Each RFCx device ‘protects’ 300 hectares,” White explained. “Emissions from logging are 50 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare, translating to 15,000 tons per device.”


    Right now, the company is raising money by its KickStarter Campaign that would support deployment in African and South American rainforests. There are still 29 days to go and the campaign has already pledged $26,674.


    Courtesy to Epoch times & Rainforest Connection website.


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