Scientists have created a program that helps to understand how insects, fish, and mammals see the world. The platform, called QCPA, allows people to manipulate pictures from their smartphones according to properties related to animal vision.


For decades, researchers have been developing many methods of identifying animal vision features, using state-of-the-art equipment to produce the right images.

In 2015, Australian scientist Van den Berg and his colleagues realized that digital photos, even from an ordinary smartphone, processed to show what animals see. Since then, the team has been working on software to combine all the methods and data sets to bring everything together in one application.

Left: what humans see, right: what bees see. Source:

Now, the software primarily helps biologists and ecologists better understand how animals visualize each other and their environment. But the team hopes that eventually it will be possible to experiment with QCPA in completely new ways.

To try out the program, go to the Empirical Imaging website and install the latest version of the application. The site has a detailed guide and a video, so that everyone can use the platform for free.


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