Bats are certainly cool creatures, but given the way that they flit about in the dark, they're not always the easiest things to see. If you've got the right equipment, however, you can detect their ultrasonic echolocation calls, which are unique to each species. Well, Wildlife Acoustics' new-and-improved Echo Meter Touch 2 is claimed to be the "right equipment" … and it works with your iPhone.

The physical device itself – which is a highly-sensitive microphone – plugs into the Lightning port of an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Working with a free app, it picks up and records the inaudible calls of bats flying overhead, amplifies them so that they can be heard by the user (it also displays the audio as an interactive spectrogram), and provides information on the species of bat that's most likely responsible.

Users can create a library, in which each recording is tagged with its GPS coordinates and displayed on Google Maps. And yes, the app does let users share those recordings with other bat fans.

The Echo Meter Touch 2 is available for preorder now, priced at US$179. For "bat professionals" there's also the more sophisticated Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro, which costs $349. Shipping will begin on June 5th.

An Android version of both models is expected in the autumn (Northern Hemisphere).

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