Skip to main content

This smart sensor gives you a first row seat to birds singing in your backyard

If you’ve ever put on one of those nature soundtracks in hopes of chilling out, you know most of them can be tinny, repetitive, and usually sound pretty fake. What if you could tune directly into the actual sounds of nature, happening live at sites around the world? The thundering splash of a waterfall in Hawaii, the drum of hoofbeats at a watering hole in Africa, or the song of tropical birds in Costa Rica are all at your beck and call with a new device and mobile platform that’s launched on Kickstarter.

Terra has two components. One is a listening and tracking device, the other allows you the ability to connect to the Terra network and enjoy real natural sounds in your own home.

One half of Terra is the listening and enjoyment, essentially white noise or rain forest sounds on steroids. Using the Terra app gives you the ability to listen in and pipe the sounds of the natural world into your home, right to your smartphone and headphones, or to a connected speaker. Terra has a unique ability to filter out human-caused sounds too, so if someone’s dirt bike or nattering chatter is in range, it wouldn’t make it into your circle of serenity.

terra natural migration 1, sensor, nature sounds,
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The second piece is a saucer-shaped sensor that you plug in somewhere in your own backyard. The sensor not only listens for the wildlife in your neighborhood and tracks things like bird calls but, using a radio receiver, it will be able to track tagged birds too. Then all that data is compiled, allowing conservationists to track migration patterns. Terra is — in essence —  crowdsourcing conservation, and aims to create a global network of sensors and trackers that scientists will use for research into wildlife and migration.

You might be wondering why you wouldn’t just open the window if you wanted to hear the sounds of nature. Truth is, many of us live in busy cities where the call of the natural world is masked by trucks, jackhammers, lawnmowers, loud tailpipes, and general human noise. Terra gives you the soothing relaxation elements of nature, without the canned playback. It’s like a live webcam for your ears. Plus, by buying into Terra’s promise, you’re helping create that global research web. But don’t stop at natural audio, there are options for natural lighting too, like Nanoleaf Elements, which you could call smart lighting from the forest.

As with any Kickstarter campaign, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with crowdfunding campaigns. This might include products that take longer to ship, aren’t as described, or don’t arrive at all. If you still want to get involved, head to Terra’s Kickstarter page to make your pledge. Down the road, Terra will also add more connected sensors for things like weather and soil moisture monitoring, and flood alerts. Terra will retail for $179. Shipping is currently set for summer 2022.

Editors' Recommendations

Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
7 things you didn’t know your Amazon Alexa smart display could do
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) side.

Everyone knows the Echo Show can walk you through recipes, drop-in to chat with relatives, and let you control your smart home with just a few taps of a button. But did you know that it has a lot of lesser-known features, too?

While these aren't exactly hidden features, they aren't as well-known as many of the mainstream features the Echo Show is capable of. You might find that your Amazon Alexa smart display is can do much more than you thought.
Alexa can make restaurant reservations
You don't have to navigate complicated audio menus or wade through incomprehensible websites to secure a table for date night. Thanks to the OpenTable Skill with Alexa, you can make restaurant reservations straight from your Echo Show.

Read more
5 things you didn’t know your Google Assistant smart speaker could do

Google Assistant is one of the most powerful smart assistants on the market, rivaled only by Amazon's Alexa. It's capable of a huge variety of different tasks that can simplify your life (or just keep you entertained), but you also should know that Google Assistant can do a lot of things people aren't aware of.

From ordering pizza to monitoring your home for potential problems, your Google Assistant smart speaker is a powerful device. The best news is that even the smallest of Google smart speakers can do these -- you don't have to have the latest entry on the market.
Google Assistant can listen for breaking glass
What's the most common way a would-be thief enters the home? If you guessed through a door or window, you win a prize. While glass windows on doors look beautiful, they aren't the most secure options in the world.

Read more
Forget the gym. Studio smart display gives you a great workout at home
studio byod smart home gym displays

With so many people unable to go to the gym, at-home smart displays have been on the rise. The majority of these displays are stationary devices that help guide users through workouts, but Studio provides a different experience.

Studio is a 43-inch smart display that connects to your existing home gym equipment to monitor your progress. If your home gym equipment is Bluetooth-enabled, Studio can connect to it directly. Even if you have older equipment that isn't Bluetooth-enabled, Studio can connect via provided sensors.

Read more