New app for phones help tracks sharks

THE brains behind a new shark alert app says the ultimate measure of success would be for it to one day save a life.

Allan Bennetto said the premise behind the Dorsal app was to crowd-source information about shark sightings and make it instantly available to the public.

That way, beach goers could have access to all the available information and make informed decisions.

DORSAL APP: The way to crowd-source information about shark sightings at local beaches.
DORSAL APP: The way to crowd-source information about shark sightings at local beaches. Dorsalapp.com

Instant information

He said the platform allows people to publish, receive and customise information about shark sightings instantly.

Users can chose to get automatic alerts on their phones or simply go to the app or website and peruse sightings.

"You can set it up anyway you want," he said.

"You can get no alerts. You can get every single alert. Or you can set it to just alert you within a 50km radius of GPS location.

"You can also choose your favourite beach and you'll only get alerts sent to your phone for those breaks."

Love project

Mr Bennetto said he designed the app as a "love project" that was born from news of shark attacks, particularly in Ballina, Byron, WA and Tasmania.

He said the story of the Tasmanian diver who was killed in front of his daughter "really hit home" as the shark had been spotted the day before but the diver was unaware.

Detailed information

As well as public warnings, the Dorsal app also features the latest sightings and alerts from authorities.

It can be viewed as a list or as a map with location and time, for example - the last 12 hours, 24 hours, week or all time.

The report details can include location, time, type of shark, length, distance from shore, conditions and photos.

Mr Bennetto said he and his team had been working on the Dorsal project for three months.

The app was launched last week and is currently live on iPhones and will be available on Android platforms soon.

For more information or to download the app go to www.dorsalapp.com.



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