From now, I will try to share an ecological innovation each week. Today, I would like to talk to you about Rainforest Connection, which is an American start-up fighting against deforestation by detecting chainsaws noises to stop the felling on site. Illegal deforestation is a fact, and it already has destroyed up to 40 % of the Amazonian total surface. What I especially like about their approach is the use of old Smartphones to fill its mission.
Topher White, who is an Engineer, is the founder of this Start-up. He got the idea while traveling to Indonesia where he volunteered in an NOG. During one of his missions in the reserve, Topher faced a group of people cutting trees with chainsaws. When he came back home, he started to work on a a prototype (along with other engineers from the Silicon Valley), to find an answer to that issue. They created then a technology to stop illegal logging and poaching on-the-spot.
Why choosing Smartphones in this project? Smartphones are very clever computers on the current market and, every year, more than 150 millions of them are trowed up only in the USA. The goal of Rainforest Connection is getting these phones back to use them wisely.
Here is a video presentation of the project
So, how does it work?
- The old Smartphones are charged with solar panels and installed on trees.
- The system allows the detection of noises produced by the chainsaws.
- The microphone sends then a signal to the NOG’s cloud.
- The NOG send an alert to the Ranger around who is able to act quickly to avoid the illegal deforestation.
You can see on this video how the system works:
My opinion: I really like this innovative idea and it seems very efficient! My old I-phone 4S just stopped working, so I am happy to give it a second life by participating in this adventure. However, I am a bit concerned about the solar panels production as it is known to be quite pollutant…
How to help?
You can make a donation on line and/or send your old Smartphones to them at the following address:
77 Van Ness Ave, Suite 101-1717,
San Francisco, CA, 94102, USA
More information to read on this project here.
Did you know this system? If so, what do you think about it? Would you help by donating your Smartphone?