No, I’ve never had any coding experience, and I still don’t. I’ve owned several content sites over the years…RedOrbit and now Earth.com…but this is my first app company. I found some wonderful coders who were able to turn my vision into reality.
There are almost 500,000 species of plants. Each plant species is similar overall, but they can grow to different sizes and shapes, they only produce flowers during certain periods of time, etc. Training the algorithm to recognize each species took hundreds of images of each species. It was a very long and arduous process.
As the founder of RedOrbit.com and current CEO of both Earth.com and GreenAtom.earth, Eric Ralls has long aspired to merge technology with a love for nature and our planet. Eric is a serial entrepreneur. After graduating from Vanderbilt university with degrees in psychology and Japanese, Eric then attended Thunderbird School for International Management. Seeing the business potential of the internet, Eric then jumped into technology in the early days of the internet boom in 1998, merging the latest innovations with his love for the planet.
PlantSnap is international…we have employees in 8 different countries around the world, so it is truly a 24/7 work cycle. We communicate and work using Slack…it is an incredibly valuable and effective app.
I had the idea for PlantSnap in 2012. I worked on it for about 6 months back then before realizing that the technology wasn’t there yet. Every year I continued to build the database, knowing that eventually we could develop the technology to utilize the database I was building. In 2016, the tech had caught up to my needs, and from that point it took 1 full year to build once we started working full time.
I didn’t want to launch the app until we knew it could recognize at least 90% of all plant species that a person would encounter anywhere on Earth. The most important thing for us was to be sure it would be a very rare case for a user to Snap a photo of a plant that was not in the PlantSnap database.
The free apps on the market have about 2000 species. That’s fine for identifying plants you find in grocery stores or florists or most gardens. As I mentioned above, the goal of PlantSnap is to bring order to the entire plant kingdom…PlantSnap now has 500,000 species in our database, and it works in every country on Earth. By the first week of July, it will be translated and released in 23 languages.
We just released an Android freemium version last week. We are releasing both Android and iOS apps in 23 different languages over the next 4-6 weeks. We are also releasing PlantCatch in July…it’s a gamification of PlantSnap aimed at younger generations and people who like games. Similar to Pokemon Go, rather than earning points for hunting and catching invisible monsters, PlantCatch replaces the monsters with plants.
PlantSnap tech support is there 24/7/365. We implore all new users to watch the instructional video, read the directions, and write to [email protected] if they have issues, questions, ideas for new features, or if they need some tips for using the app to get correct results every time. Because there are 500,000 species to differentiate from, it’s important to read and follow the simple instructions.
About App: Instantly identify plants of all kinds, anywhere in the world! Flowers, trees, succulents, mushrooms and more can be quickly recognized with PlantSnap by Earth.com, the mobile app built to help you identify flowers, plants & trees in a snap. PlantSnap’s huge database covers everywhere on earth so you can identify plants instantly, wherever you are! Simply take a picture of the plant you’ve found in nature, at the gardening store or wherever you are, anywhere in the world, and PlantSnap will tell you what plant it is in seconds. With PlantSnap, you can reconnect to the natural world around you and learn about nearby plants, or browse our gallery to discover new and exotic plants all across the globe. Whether you find peace and mindfulness from hiking, or if you are interested in studying nature, PlantSnap has the resources and technology you need.
Date: June 12, 2018
Developer: Eric Ralls
About developer: As the founder of RedOrbit.com and current CEO of both Earth.com and GreenAt ... Read more