Boat Beacon for Android helps you track boats and avoid collisions at sea

Summary:Smartphones are essentially pocket computers and with apps like Boat Beacon you can really see the power of the iOS and Android platforms. Boat Beacon uses AIS to track boats and help you avoid collisions.

Boat Beacon for Android helps you track boats and avoid collisions at sea

By day I am a professional naval architect and spend time out on ships and boats performing shipchecks of systems and arrangements. I used to own a powerboat and have used my iPhone for basic navigation and tracking. The folks at Electric Pocket just announced a new application for Android smartphones and tablets that has been popular on iOS. Boat Beacon was designed and developed by a boat captain, Electic Pocket's CEO, and provides a rather inexpensive AIS-based solution for iOS and Android devices. You may find his story of the creation of Boat Beacon interesting if you are a mariner.

Boat Beacon is available in the Google Play Store now for $9.99. Features in the Android version include the following:

  • 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.


Even though I no longer have my own boat, I do still sail on other boats and am often in need of a way to track vessels that I visit for marine design work. This looks to be a very useful application for mariners and I would love to hear your sea stories in the comments.

BTW, the iOS version includes a few more features, anchor watch and theft alarms, ship to ship instant messaging, and magnetic or true north settings. I am sure these will eventually be added to the Android version as well.

Topics: Mobility

About

Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 2... Full Bio

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