Obu / A.I. powered magnifier

Get children interested in nature

Obu is part of a research project around the use of machine learning algorithms for learning. Inspired by a traditional magnifier, Obu helps children discover and understand Nature’s principles and hidden secrets. Children are naturally curious and Obu allows them to explore the outdoors and become aware of natural life cycles and bio-diversity.

The powerful camera and picture collecting app which comes with Obu uses Machine Learning to automatically identify specimens, and encourage kids to be part of a community of responsible nature carers, growing up with a deep respect for the natural environment and its habitants.


Explore, find, capture, learn


Augmented curiosity


Obu comes with local maps of areas where you are likely to discover specimens, and a digital compass to get there.

Create your own adventures and collect seasonal specimens around you.


Plan expeditions and learn about different species and types of insects, plants or minerals.
Wonder at their intricate structures using the zoom and capture it all in detail for your collection.

Anonymously share your maps with the community so other children can see where you found your specimens.

The compass can guide you to the areas in the local map where specimens have been captured by other children before around the same time of the year.


Learning while collecting

Obu is part of an exploration about how to use Machine Learning algorithms for learning. As computers get faster and smarter, the way we use data is changing, allowing us to create and enjoy more integrated experiences.

Machine Learning models learn from data sets, becoming gradually better at understanding information.
Children learn quickly by observing and mimicking behaviour. By taking pictures of the things that catch their eye, they could in return create data for further training the machine learning models that the app uses to identify specimens.

Large databases of pictures of animals and plants are already being used for scientific research and to help monitoring natural habitats. By taking pictures of specimens children can contribute to scientific research on a myriad of topics such as spotting changes in the migrating pattern of birds, or to detect unusual amounts of non-native algae species at the local beach.


Behind the scenes

Obu uses open source image libraries trained on Tensor flow, a Machine Learning software created to identify specific things using sets of images. Once a specimen has been identified, an information card appears in the app providing fun facts and basic information about the specimen.
Inside the magnifier, a GPS location module and magnetometer provide the info necessary for the use of the local species maps and the compass functionality.

When a new specimen is identified a spot is marked on the map and anonymously shared with other children using Obu in the same area.

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