A new set of binoculars backed by artificial intelligence can identify more than nine thousand bird and wildlife species, making them ideal for use in the great outdoors or at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
This follows the release of AI-powered bird feeders that can tell you what kind of birds are visiting your backyard. I got to try out the smart binoculars and do a little twitching (birding-wise) on the exhibit floor, but there weren’t any birds at CES (or anywhere near the Las Vegas Strip, for that matter).
I trained these Swarovski Optic AX Visio binoculars—designed by Marc Newson—on a nearby bird—actually, a cardboard cutout perched atop a wooden pole—and they identified the species for me.
That’s right; as soon as the bird came into focus, I hit a button, and the binoculars started filling in a red circle. A mere five seconds later, the name “American kestrel” appeared on the screen.
Five seconds seems excessively long given how quickly most birds fly, but the technology, which is supported by an “integrated operating and object-recognition system” and an internal neural processing unit, is definitely impressive. The 10 x 32 binoculars provided an exceptionally crisp image with a field of vision of 1,000 yards.
They have a 13-megapixel still camera and a 1080p video camera that can be remotely synced with the Swarovski Optik Outdoor app for your smartphone, which is fantastic because I adore watching animals. Priced at $4,799, this is certainly not something you’ll buy on a whim.
With the binoculars’ integrated GPS, the onboard CPU can determine what kind of wildlife you might be observing depending on your precise position.
One more cool feature is the “Share discoveries” tool. It lets you point out what you noticed in the viewfinder using arrow marks, so you can show your friend how to use the binoculars. February is when you can purchase the AX Visio.
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