The solar-powered device allows researchers to ‘call’ a frog habitat where the device has been installed
Spotted: Researchers in Australia have developed a device that allows scientists to monitor frog survey sites remotely, using their mobiles. The FrogPhone is a device that allows researchers to conduct real-time acoustical surveys over the phone.
The solar-powered FrogPhone allows researchers to ‘call’ a frog habitat where the device has been installed. The researchers can then listen in on the frog calls in real-time, and can thus identify which species of frog are present without needing to travel to remote areas or use recording devices. The device also collects environmental data using digital sensors and can relay these via text messages.
The FrogPhone can detect frogs from a 100-150m radius and its waterproof case allows the device to be used in ponds. Successful field trials have already been conducted, demonstrating that the frog calls can be accurately conducted over the phone. However, the device can only be used in areas with good 3G or 4G coverage, and with good exposure to sunlight. Researchers suggest that future FrogPhones may need to include a satellite communications module for poor signal areas, and multidirectional microphones for large areas.
As global warming affects larger and larger areas, it is becoming more important than ever to be able to monitor creatures around the world. The FrogPhone joins a number of other innovations monitoring this, recently covered by Springwise. These include an app that uses facial recognition to identify primate species and bio-logging tags that warn animals of potential threats from humans.