Boat Beacon App, Now on Android and iPhone, Improves Safety at Sea

Mariners can now use their Android devices to keep a watch on nearby boats along busy coastlines while enabling other boats and friends to follow their current location using Boat Beacon Maps and Global Marine AIS systems.

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Boat Beacon offers a professional, easy and inexpensive way to experience the benefits of AIS navigation.

Wales, UK (PRWEB) August 23, 2012

The Boat Beacon app, which has become popular among iPhone-using sailors and power boaters, is now available for Android-based smartphones and tablets. Mariners can now use their Android devices to keep a watch on nearby boats along busy coastlines while enabling other boats and friends to follow their current location using Boat Beacon Maps and Global Marine AIS systems.

The Boat Beacon app, developed by a skipper for other skippers, does not require an external AIS receiver or transponder equipment and provides location tracking at a fraction of the cost of an AIS system.

Boat Beacon was developed by Electric Pocket, the same company that last year made a big splash with the introduction of its Compass Eye augmented reality app for iOS. Steve Bennett, the company’s CEO, sought an easy and relatively inexpensive way for his family to keep an eye on his location when he was sailing on his boat in the Bristol Channel. He also wanted a means of spotting big boats heading toward him, enabling him to trim his sails accordingly.

“High speed craft, such as Catamaran Passenger Ferries, travel so fast they can be upon you from beyond the horizon or an island in a few short minutes,” said Bennett. “AIS Systems provide the standard solution to detect potential collisions, sending and receiving ship position and movement details on a regular basis. However, AIS receivers and displays are an expensive piece of kit to buy and install and are limited by line of sight, which can be less than 6 miles away at sea level!”

Bennett knew there is a large network of AIS shore stations collecting and sharing AIS data that an app could tap into. Also, most coastal and popular ports now have 3G or 2G data coverage - the UK has nearly complete coast coverage out to 12 miles to sea as do all the major U.S. ports, coastal areas and inland waters in the US.

Boat Beacon offers a professional, easy and inexpensive way to experience the benefits of AIS navigation. Features of Boat Beacon include:

  • Real-time “Map View” of both the user’s and other boats via AIS.
  • Continuous Collision detection using Closest Point of Approach (CPA)
  • “Compass” mode to sight ships on the map including bearing to and distance from.
  • Enable friends and family to see the user’s location and course on Boat Beacon and Global AIS Systems.
  • Current Speed, Course and GPS location
  • Details about other ships including photos.
  • MMSI numbers to contact nearby boats via VHF.

By enabling Boat Beacon’s “Transmit” mode, the user’s boat will appear on other Boat Beacon-equipped devices. With its AIS Sharing feature, the user’s boat will also appear on live ship tracking websites such as AIS Hub, Marine Traffic and Ship Finder.

Boat Beacon is available in the Google Play Store for US$9.99. For more information, visit http://www.PocketMariner.com. A real-time map of the several thousand Boat Beacon boats can be viewed on the website.

About Electric Pocket Limited:
Electric Pocket has been developing mobile applications and solutions for over 10 years from its base in South Wales, UK. The company’s award winning product portfolio includes apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. Electric Pocket provides engineering jump-start and consultancy services for companies looking to deliver great mobile products. Samsung, Sony, and Vodafone are a few of the company’s top-flight clients. For more information, visit http://www.electricpocket.com.