Have you ever been out walking, stumbled upon an interesting plant, and wished there was a quick way to find out what kind it is? Well, you’re in luck!
“If you’re a plant person, I have life-altering information for you,” Dalstra says at the start of the video before showing how the feature works.
The tool, known as Visual Look Up, is available on iPhones. All you have to do is open the camera app and take or select a photo of the plant you want to identify. Scroll up to reveal a leaf icon next to the words “Look Up – Plant” and it will identify the species.
As many commenters note, the feature also works to identify birds, insects, dog breeds, monuments, and more.
How it’s helping
Identification technology, including iPhone’s Visual Look Up feature, Google Lens, and Seek by iNaturalist from National Geographic, helps users learn about the world around them, engage with nature, and even contribute valuable data to researchers through citizen science initiatives more easily.
Since it’s available wherever you take your phone, Visual Look Up can quickly identify plants and more at home, around the neighborhood, in the garden, and in the woods. However, the tool does have its limitations.
“Be careful if you’re a gatherer,” one commenter warned. “The info can’t tell you if the species is the edible type or it’s poisonous lookalike.”
As the technology continues to improve, though, this tool should become more reliable over time.
What everyone’s saying
While many commenters joined the Instagrammer’s excitement at discovering this new feature and were ready to go try it out, one user who has been aware of the tool for a while shared a heart-warming example of its potential.
“I love this feature!” the commenter said, “When I go out with my great grandmother and my great aunt, we often go to parks and stuff like that and my great grandmother LOVES plants and stuff. She’s showing rapid signs of Alzheimer’s and is forgetting names of the plants but with this neat trick on the camera, she’s always calling me over to take a picture and tell her what the plant is. It’s my favorite thing to do with her now.”
Tools like the iPhone’s Visual Look Up fuel curiosity while making it easier to engage with and learn about the world around us.
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