It took a talented teenager and the expertise at the University of Wollongong to create an app that will save the lives of up to 100 million sharks that are killed each year.
SharkMate was first developed by Sam Aubin, 14, a Year 9 student at the Illawarra Grammar School, as a way of avoiding the use of nets and culls, thus saving sharks.
His app uses a range of data – water temperature, air temperature, rainfall, historical shark sightings – and uses it to calculate the likelihood of a shark sighting at any given beach.
There is also an option to report shark sightings.
Since developing the app, he has teamed up with the SMART Infrastructure Facility, to link an aerial imaging system from a blimp floating above a beach to smart watch apps, as well as mobile via wireless notifications to servers in the cloud.
Push notifications are also now available. This real-time information combined with the advanced SharkMate prediction algorithm should provide the best possible information to water users to determine risk of shark attack.
SMART has been able to secure research funding for the app, which is expected to go live in early 2018.