Compass Eye App for iPhone Helps Sailors Safely Navigate Stormy Seas

December 1, 2011 in Navigation (E)

[] Wye Valley, United Kingdom - Sailors can now use their iPhones as a multi-functional bearing compass that replaces the need for compass binoculars and professional bearing compasses for explorations and excursions. Electric Pocket Ltd announces the launch of Compass Eye, an exciting new nautical Augmented Reality app for iPhone and iPad from the company known for such popular apps as BugMe! and Ringo.

Compass Eye delivers on the promise of a compass that doesn't change its reading when the boat rocks and enables sailors to take compass bearings with their iPhone or iPad. Compass Eye replaces the need of Compass Binoculars and Professional Bearing Compasses for explorations and excursions on land, sea and even in the air (it's fully gimballed)!

Compass Eye was designed by a skipper for use by sailors. Inspiration struck Steve Bennett, CEO of Electric Pocket, during a particularly treacherous sea crossing with a RYA Yacht Master Instructor when keeping a fixed bearing on a distant vessel proved invaluable. He realized that the iPhone could serve as a simple multi-functional bearing compass that could provide several essential functions, such as collision avoidance and safe passage limits.

"The tide was ebbing across our path at 4-5 Kts and a very large Dredger, the City of Cardiff, lay at anchor approximately six miles from our destination, Penarth. With a maximum boat speed of only 4 Kts in the rough wind over tide conditions, it was vital that we passed as close downstream of the dredger as possible so that we could still make our destination without being swept out to sea and having to wait for the next flood. Keeping a constant bearing with the dredger and then the back of the dredger as we got closer was a simple but extremely effective and safe way of navigating."

Compass Eye uses the iPhone or iPad camera to let sailors view their course and overlays a compass display on it. This clever implementation of Augmented Reality, including up-to 8x zoom, lets sailors set a variety of bearings for avoiding collisions with other boats or for keeping a safe passage into harbor with one easy tap.

All bearings are color-coded in line with IALA standards. Sailors can then watch the horizon and take time-stamped, GPS located photos with their bearings marked on them. With Compass Eye, users can look back on the photos for easy logging reference, or the photos can be tweeted using the Twitter integration to let people chart their sailing adventure and enjoy the view.

Unlike the majority of compass apps which can be difficult to use as they need to be held steady, level and close to horizontal, Compass Eye works correctly in all orientations and angles. When the iOS device is laid flat it will show the whole compass rose and heading and current position overlayed on a real-time Google Earth Map (N.B. the live map view requires an internet connection). During its beta stage the app was put to the test at sea on voyages across the Bristol Channel, one of the most hazardous areas of water to navigate in the world.

Compass Eye Main Features:
* Real time, accuracy in all orientations
* Compass overlaid on live camera view
* 8x Digital zoom
* Back, transit, or collision bearing marker
* Draggable red and green bearing lines
* Triangulation bearings
* Optional time, date and GPS location information
* Magnetic or True North setting with variation based on location
* Live map view in horizontal mode. The map can be changed to show normal, satellite and hybrid views or turned off
* Photo and position sharing via email and Twitter

Technical Details:
Based on an iPhone 4 camera the image specification at full zoom compares favorably with a 7x50 pair of binoculars:
* Field of Vision at 1000m at 8x: 122m
* Angle of view at 8x: approx 7 degrees
* Low ISO 80 or better.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S
* iPad 2 Wi-Fi, and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G
* Device with back facing Camera
* Magnetometer and Accelerometer (GPS is optional)
* Requires iOS 4.1 or later
* 2.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Compass Eye 1.21 is $4.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Navigation category.

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. Sony, Vodafone and Ericsson are a few of EP's top flight clients. Copyright (C) 2011 Electric Pocket Limited. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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