We are proud to announce that, as part of the latest Tools To Market investments, DOC are now providing funding for two of our projects; the first to deliver a new version of our thermal camera, and the second to deliver a number of improvements to our monitoring platform, including adding support for trailcams.
If you happened to catch 1News over the weekend, you may have seen a piece on our project. On the back of TVNZ's interest in how Artifical Intelligence assisted solutions can be used for good, we spoke to 1News about the two Cacophony projects DOC is now funding.
Project One: New Thermal Camera
This project will deliver a new, lower-cost version of our classic thermal camera with longer battery life and a smaller form factor. Our classic camera has been in the field for a number of years now. We've learnt a number of important things from having the cameras out in the field and we are bringing all of these learnings into the design of the new camera. This project will also deliver on some of the promises of Moore's Law by taking advantage of smaller, cheaper, and more performant components.
The new version will have all the features of our traditional thermal camera and some new ones:
- A similar size to traditional trail cameras, making it easier to carry and deploy in the field
- We are targeting a reduction in the power usage of the new camera, delivering more than 3x the battery life
- A lower cost, more robust battery solution (details to be confirmed). The new battery cable will allow the camera to monitor the charge of the battery
- A built-in GPS so you don't need to manually update the location of the camera when deploying it
- A built-in bracket for mounti CTng to a tree with a screw or straps, along with a mount for a security cable. The ability to mount to a tripod is also retained
- The speaker port will become available on all cameras
- The power and speaker ports are mounted on the bottom of the camera, providing additional protection against water ingress
The new camera will of course still automatically upload recordings to the Cacophony Monitoring platform, maintaining the ability to have near real-time, species specific email notifications when a predator is spotted.
Project delivery date: June 2024
A sneak preview of our working prototype. Pre-Order available now.
Project Two: Monitoring Platform
As part of this project, the existing Cacophony Monitoring platform will be enhanced with the ability to upload images and recordings form traditional trailcams. In the same way the platform has allowed users to tag thermal recordings for many years, users will now be able to review and tag images and recordings from traditional trailcams. The analysis and reporting features of the platform will include data from both types of devices, allowing you to get a full picture of the activity in your reserve, no matter what combination of devices you deploy.
We are aiming to be able to automatically filter out a percentage of false positives from trailcam recordings uploaded to the platform. This will help reduce the amount of effort required to process these data sets. The platform will also be enhanced to handle the additional volume and scaling challenges introduced by the addition of trailcam footage. A number of additional improvements to the existing platform are also in scope.
Project delivery date: September 2024
A couple of sneak previews of the new platform interfaces.
Together, these two projects will make semi-automated monitoring much more accessible to the hard-working conservation groups of Aotearoa and beyond. We're delighted to be working with DOC on these projects and are excited by the improvements we will deliver.
As always, we welcome your feedback so don't hesitate to get in touch - leave a comment below or email us at email@example.com.