A team of researchers at the University of Missouri is developing a smartphone app that determines location, speed, and direction of distant objects.
The PositionIt app combines a smartphone’s GPS, compass, and imaging capabilities to calculate the exact location of distant objects and track their speed and direction.
Practical uses might include a single off-the-shelf device to replace various pieces of equipment carried by soldiers on the battlefield, or even by golfers to judge the distance to the green when playing golf.
Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters, sees both fun and practical applications in her industry. "We envision crews using this app to track other vessels during Mediterranean yacht charter regattas, like the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta," says Sheeder.
"Can you imagine children on crewed catamaran charters in the Caribbean using the app to track a pod of dolphins or whales in the distance? The advantage of a smartphone is that it provides so many tools in a single, affordable package.”
The researchers say the PositionIt app can calculate the exact location of distant objects, both when the size of the object is known and when it isn’t. Additionally, the software can also track the direction and calculate the speed of a moving target, like a luxury sailing charter vessel underway, from a short video captured on the smartphone.
A prototype version of the targeting and tracking software is currently undergoing testing. Advances in smartphone hardware are also expected to improve the accuracy of the new app. Improvements in GPS accuracy, battery life, and camera resolution will allow the app to make even more accurate observations.
The next LORO PIANA SUPERYACHT REGATTA is scheduled for June 4-8, 2013 in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. First launched in 2008, this regatta kicks off the Mediterranean cruising season and attracts an ever-increasing fleet of sailing yachts such as 34 meter sail yacht ANNAGINE and the 57 meter Royal Huisman yacht TWIZZLE.
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