I never thought I’d be writing about mobile phones for pigeons, but that day has come. A flock of pigeons in San Jose, California will be wearing mobile phone backpacks as they fly to help scientists monitor air quality. They will have a GPS tracking receiver and air pollution sensors along with the simple homemade phone. As the sensor, which can detect carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, measures air quality, text messages will be automatically sent to a special pigeon blog. They will also have cameras around their necks to post aerial pictures. If you are curious, you’ll be able to follow the blog online as the project goes on. It will include an interactive map which will compile the data.
The project was conceived at the University of California at Irvine. The blogging pigeons will take to the air on August 5. I’ll laugh every time I think of a pigeon wearing a backpack until then.