Surf’s app: Lifeguards’ emergency mobile trial
  • Saturday 17 September 2011

A trial of new, locally designed technology to aid Sunshine Coast lifeguards is now under way.

Sunshine Coast Council approached Caloundra-based mobile workforce solutions company Tracknology to develop a mobile phone "app" which would record important on-beach data including images, and which could prove crucial in life-and-death situations.

The mobile apps, launched on waterproof phones, provide GPS tracking and contact with sea craft to coordinate any emergency situation.

Council lifeguard manager Scott Braby said the technology could prove critical in a surf accident scenario.

"We would be in a position not only to give a precise location of an event to emergency services – we could also provide images to mainland hospital staff or ambulance personnel to determine any immediate medical status and remedy," he said.

Tracknology founder and director Steve Walsh said the technology would also be useful to law enforcement.

"Legal infringements – including photographic evidence – could be instantly forwarded to police or Council bylaws officers," he said.

"But the main routine advantage to lifeguards would be their ability to save time by capturing data and recording surf information without continual trips back to the tower, all the while linked to GPS."

Mr Walsh said the Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Service will be trialling the software on Motorola DEFY mobile phones throughout September.

"The Motorola DEFY is water-resistant, scratch-resistant and dust-proof, making it the ideal device for lifeguards to use on the beach all day," he said.

Tracknology originally started at as a one man operation by Stephen Walsh at the university’s innovation centre but has now developed into a home grown technology based in Caloundra.

Mr Walsh attributed some of his recent success to this region’s many advantages for starting and running a successful small business.