Today, time is our most valuable asset and our personal devices help us get the most out of what little we have. They help us with our work, keep us connected to friends, inform us about current events and are also a source of entertainment.
Every year personal devices gain more and more functionality underwater. Their photo and video capabilities continually increase and various apps are being modified to expand their usability for divers. There’s no better platform for a resource that helps people get more out of their dives, from recreation to research.
Ask people why they dive and the most popular reason is inevitably the incredible marine life they see. Whether it’s the thrill of an encounter of a lifetime with a shark or just the vivid colors of a tiny nudibranch, what swims, crawls or just sits there and looks stunning inspires divers to love the ocean.
Since 2010, ReefID has been building web- and app-based tools that help people identify the animals they see so they can record and share their incredible experiences with others. Each year, we add features and content to take advantage of new underwater technology so as to continually enhance each user’s experience. With the release of new products from companies including iDive, Watershot, SeaLife and GoPro, it’s no surprise that ReefID has added features to take advantage of their abilities.
iDive has released the first fully functional underwater housing for the iPad. This revolutionary new product has paved the way for many new products, as well as provided a reason to put new spins on old ones. To take advantage of the iDive’s ability to maintain an iPad’s touch screen, ReefID has converted its dynamic database into a downloadable app that can be used to identify and log marine life above or below the water, with or without an Internet connection. Additional features including counting and storing unique data points are also being developed for use on the iDive to aid in scientific research, as well as to create the first automatic identification system for marine life.
Underwater photography has grown leaps and bounds since the digital revolution. Above water, personal devices have given the average person the ability to capture creative images with a high level of quality. They have also provided a convenient method to share these images with millions of people with the press of a button through social media. Watershot and similar companies are creating products that give people the ability to use these same familiar features to capture and share their aquatic adventures.
ReefID is taking this ability one step further by providing a tool that allows people to compare and match their underwater images with corresponding identification images. Matching images gives users the ability to create a complete marine-life dive log, using a combination of personal and ReefID community images. We’ve complemented this feature by adding interesting facts to matched images, including common and scientific names, ready to share through your favorite social media channels.
Also taking advantage of personal devices are photographic devices including SeaLife and GoPro. Wi-Fi enabled products allow users are to send their images and video directly to their handheld devices. This gives users the ability to identify, match and share images through ReefID apps.
ReefID has always been a community-driven resource, and many of the images used in our identification system are taken with these same devices. You can also log into the ReefID website through the ReefID app to create a personal profile and upload your images to be considered for their identification abilities.
To mark the launch of ReefID’s new downloadable Caribbean Reef app and the beginning of our automatic identification process, you can download the iOS version free through November 22nd.
Personal devices have made their way into our underwater world and are here to stay. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to embrace their abilities to help us get more out of our marine life adventures.
ReefID’s apps have always been dynamic, with the ability to add community-supplied images and content at any time through an Internet or cellular connection. That feature has remained but the database is now downloaded giving users the ability to use all identification with or without a connection. This is hugely valuable when you’re just up from a dive and want to know right away what you saw.