Game-lovers Might Save The Planet After All!

With both Earth Day and World Environment Day 2022 behind us you might have wondered how you can contribute to this global environmental effort. You’re not big on socializing and your thumbs are not really green? Worry not, we’ve got your back. Game-lovers, your gaming thumbs can still help!

NASA launched NeMO-Net (Neural Multi-Modal Observation and Training Network), a single-player iPad game where players help NASA categorize coral reefs by painting 3D and 2D images of coral.

How it works

Before we get more into detail about NeMO-Net, we first need to explain how NASA’s scientists managed to develop a unique instrument. That instrument is an aerial camera called Fluid Cam, developed by Ved Chirayath, who works at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Fluid Cam goes hand-in-hand with Fluid Lensing, the technology solution Chirayath came up with. It not only eliminates the distortions caused by waves but uses their magnification to improve the resolution of the images. The aerial Fluid Cam uses a 16-core processor and has 1TB of RAM, and outputs data at a rate of 550MB per second.

NASA’s Fluid Cam mainly focuses on coral reefs. They are suffering from significant deterioration due to the pollution and rising temperatures of the oceans, among other things. To determine how much our climate is changing, we would first need to determine how many healthy coral reefs exist at this moment. NASA did a fantastic job in creating NeMO-Net, by letting us be a part of the project as well.

How do we help?

Due to the vastness of our oceans, it would take 2 million years for NASA to classify all coral reefs by hand. That’s why they need our help. The game will appeal to game-lovers of all ages, those environmentally conscious, and those just learning what coral reefs are! All classifications players make are sent directly to NASA. They are used to teach its supercomputer to categorize coral reefs on a worldwide scale.

Not only that the purpose of the game is extremely important for the sustainability of our ecosystem, but you can also learn a lot about coral and its different types! The game has reached around 43k downloads so far, with more than 70k completed classifications!

Download the app right here and help NASA save the oceans!

This article first appeared on Medium on April 20, 2021.