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Flora Finder - instantly identify native plants using the camera on your smartphone

Flora Finder is a mobile application that takes shape recognition technology and combined with the camera on your smart phone allows you to instantly identify NZ native plants. It's available on Apple's App Store. A description of the plant and supporting images are provided with your identification. No matter where you are in NZ every time you take a snap of a NZ native plant to add to your personal collection, your location is pinned on the Apps’ live mapping feature. So you can see where you’ve been on your botanical travels.  But if the App can’t identify the plant for you, then you can send your photo through the App to the experts at the Botany Department, University of Otago and they will identify it for you.There are 87 species in the App at this stage.

We've faced several technical challenges, which we're over comming. Specifically, these are streamlining the apps ability to identify leaf shape. We've built in another filter where the user can decide which features of the leaf they wish to use to identify the plant. 

We're targeting plant enthusiasts and have focused on iOS devices at this stage. This allows us to limit the market while sortingout any bugs (been aailable for 4 months now), but also iOS users tend to spend more money on apps. Initial sales have gone well, but without marketing effort drop significantly. We're looking at building a website to support the app specifically for those who download the app and wish access to more free content on native plants. The aim here is to build a commuity of users. One key aspect is to find away to add more content for our fans who are happy to pay for it. Our identification service built in the app is proving to be very successful. Our next steps are to add more species and develop the Android version. 

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