What the Tech: App of the day


I have this thing growing in my flower bed and I don’t know if I should cut it, dig it up or feed it. Ground cover? Or a weed that could invade freshly planted flowers?

Unless you’re a horticulturist or flower expert, this is a common question in spring and summer. Is it a weed or a flower? Is it something that will add color or shape to your flower bed or garden? Or should you pull it out before it chokes out the plants you want?

The “PictureThis” app, for iPhone and Android devices, brings an encyclopedia of smartphone knowledge that you always have with you.

Using your smartphone camera, frame the flower or leaf in a diagram and take a picture. Using artificial intelligence, “PictureThis” scans the image, compares it to thousands of similar sheets and, using your location, generates an excellent estimate of what you have.

The app claims to be able to accurately identify over a million plants.

I tried it on this thing growing in my flower bed and PictureThis says it’s a dogwood. Another unknown thing growing in another bed is an American black cherry tree, otherwise known as a hackberry bush.

If it is not recognized by the application, the PictureThis community will intervene to help you. The community is very active.

PictureThis is a free application to identify 10 plants. A premium subscription costs $29.99 for one year.

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