Scientists Create Plant Health Inspection Application for Google Glass

A small group of scientists from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have crafted a way to use Google Glass to analyze plant health.

Credit: UCLA

Credit: UCLA

The group of scientists have created an application for Google Glass, which is used along with a handheld device, to detect the chlorophyll concentrations in plants. Chlorophyll is what allows plants to turn sunlight into energy, and low levels of it are usually correlated with poor plant health.

The handheld device that is used with the application is basically a tiny flashlight that can be crafted for less than $30. The device is placed behind one of the leaves on a plant that needs inspection and it emits light to make the innards of the leaf more prominent. Once a leaf is properly illuminated, the Chlorophyll-inspection application can be used to take a picture. After a picture is taken, it’s sent off to a remote server, which processes the image and sends back a chlorophyll report.

Right now, the standard test used to inspect Chlorophyll concentrations takes up a considerable amount of time and involves dissolving leaves in chemicals. The Google Glass application that the scientists have created requires no chemicals and provides readings in less than 10 seconds. So, there are definitely advantages to using the Google Glass application over the standard test.

The scientists think that something like their application might someday replace the standard laboratory test. What are your thoughts?