Malaysian AI Recognition For Different Types Of Durian
As one of the pungent and intimidating fruits in the world, durian cannot go unnoticed, especially by Malaysians. But real enthusiasts know that not all durians are built the same on the inside, even though they look pretty much the same on the outside.
Jake knows this best. Yes, most Malays can say how much they love durian, but how many can confidently say, “He’s a King Musang!” or “It’s a D24!” just looking at one?
Even so, not everyone has time to learn to identify and differentiate durian species from each other. Therefore, the Musang King app says don’t worry, they are here to do the work for you.
Bringing the Farmer’s Eye to AI
“The Musang King app is meant to empower all durian lovers,” said Jake Thui, a member of the app’s founding team. “Anyone who loves durians has definitely come across situations where we are not sure what variety of durians are in front of us. Most of the time, it’s because we don’t know the identifying characteristics of the varieties we like. “
Therefore, the Musang King app was born to simplify the durian shopping experience for durian lovers, thanks to which you can take a photo of the durian and find out which variety it is in seconds.
This project was started in 2019 by several durian enthusiasts from IT and financial backgrounds, as well as academics who have researched the Malaysian fruit industry.
As of now, the app is able to recognize 6 varieties of durian so far, namely Musang King (D197), Sultan (D24), Golden Phoenix (D198), Golden Bun (D13), Red Flesh ( D101) and Darling (D88), but the team is continually working on expanding their recognition library.
Inside the app
The situations in which users would use this app would be when they are in a durian farm or stall and wish to identify the variety of durians. Besides identification, the app also allows users to locate trusted durian stalls in the country.
“We want to prevent ‘Musang King fake durians’ from being irresponsibly sold to innocent buyers, as most consumers find it difficult to recognize high quality durians. Additionally, it is difficult to locate any pop-up durian stalls on the side of the road. Consumers find great stalls by chance or by word of mouth, ”Jake explained.
The app is free for all users to download, while durian sellers would have to pay a small fee if they wanted to register on the app card. Like any other ecommerce app, these offline sellers would benefit from this listing by having an online presence.
If the app works as expected, this feature will be able to increase the visibility of their booth to their nearby users, as their users are more likely to use the app to locate nearby durian vendors.
Jake shared that there is also a commercial version of the app for industrial use, which is another way for the team to monetize.
How the app works
While not everyone has a durian farmer’s eye to distinguish one variety from another, do durians even have exterior characteristics distinct enough to differentiate them?
To most consumers, all durian varieties look almost identical, but for a durian planter, the general shape of the fruit, the shape of the thorns, and the patterns on the fruit as the base make a huge difference, Jake added.
For example, we can distinguish a D24 from a Musang King by the thinner spines of the first which are denser in volume. At the same time, the bottom seam of a D24 is round, its crown area is not as smooth, and its shank is shorter and fatter. These are characteristics that the app uses to distinguish between varieties.
“You don’t have to Kopek open the durian, just good snapshots of the unopened fruit with your phone’s camera will do the job! Jake explained.
From now on, their main challenge is to get more users on board outside of durian season, as well as more sellers to list on their map. But first, their current plan at the moment is to include more durian varieties under their identification.
While there are many varieties of durian in Malaysia that have yet to be explored by the app, it already covers 5 of the 10 popular durian varieties in Malaysia, according to Hernan, a local manufacturer of durian products. This is a good start as most stalls tend to sell a few of these varieties and customers tend to opt for them as well.
As of now, the app is available on both iOS and Google Play Store.
- You can read more about the Musang King app here.
- You can read more about other apps we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Musang King app
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