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This app by IISc alums can help you quiz yourself on how well you know bird, insect and frog sounds

www.edexlive.com | November 22, 2021
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The app, What's That Call, is available on the Google Playstore. But how does it work and how did it come to be? That is the question

Are you one of those people who can identify a bird, frog or insect by hearing its sound? Then What's That Call is the perfect app for you. Not just to pass your time but also to learn about a wide variety of bird species, frogs as well as insects. Developed by former students and a professor of IISc, this app is open to audiences of all ages. 

Curious to understand how this app works, we downloaded the app and started checking it out. Straight off the bat, the app gives you the option to identify the sounds of birds, frogs or insects. If you select the option 'frog', then the app plays various sounds along with displaying the pictures of four different species of frogs. If you select the right species after hearing the sound, then you earn a point. It works the same way for birds and insects also. 

Srikanth Deodar, who is now an Assistant Professor at FLAME University, explains, "I developed this app as a post-job project along with Professor Rohini Balasubramanian, Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science and two other PhD students. IISc celebrates Science Day on February 28 and as part of the outreach activities with the students, we would play the sounds of these species manually and students would identify them. They would choose the name of the right species and get their scores. Later, we thought of making it more accessible through this kind of app. We started working on this app in 2019. It took some time to get the resources, manpower and other necessary things in place to develop this app and publish it."

He further adds, "What's That Call is an app that helps you hear sounds of birds, insects and frogs and identify them accordingly. The app is targeted at the Indian audience and we wanted to keep the app open for the public especially for school going kids. Usually, kids will get curious to know more about these species once they hear different sounds. The idea behind developing this app was to make people keep their ears and eyes open for wildlife."

According to Srikanth, the bird database is much larger and it has close to 100 bird species and sounds on the app. When it comes to frogs, the app has only 10 to 13 sounds and pictures. Currently, they are working on the database of insects and adding their sounds.  "It is easier to get a larger database of birds when compared to insects which might be only 30 to 40. We plan to add a few more species of frogs also on this app," says Srikanth. 

You can download the app by clicking on this link: //play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iisc.whatsthatcall