I-phone apps


#1

Ok, it is cool. But more of a novelty I think. These apps may be inticing to use and may even work pretty well, but legally, it could spell trouble for some operators. I can just see a Mate operating a coastal ATB filled with petroleum products ramming another vessel because it wasn’t showing up on his I-Phone’s AIS. Or fumbling with his phone in the wheelhouse instead of manning his radar, or simply looking out the window. There are a few Captains that do not allow personal phones in the pilothouse. And company policy often includes this. Vessels have AIS equipment and other REQUIRED navigational tools designed to be used, by law, not someone’s personal I-phone. John, I know you want to make a pile of cash with your new apps, and I am sure you will, but realistically, some of them could be introducing more harm than good into the pilothouse watchstanding scheme.
My couple of cents that.


#2

We state in our app only for entertainment purposes as it is not an AIS receiver itself although we have been asked to write a version like this! I think if you use wisely, i.e. don’t rely on the data 100% and use it more for guidance/informational you are right.

Like anything common sense I suppose prevails?


#3

Yes, that is true, but there are a lot of people out there who lack common sense. Hopefully this won’t cause too many accidents. Entertainment purposes… Not on my watch!


#4

[QUOTE=rjbpilot;21081]John, I know you want to make a pile of cash with your new apps, and I am sure you will, but realistically, some of them could be introducing more harm than good into the pilothouse watchstanding scheme.[/QUOTE]

First, even if we do sell a ton of them… we have to give apple 30% of the revenue off the top, then we pay the AIS network provider 50% of the remaining and another 25% to our investor… so this isn’t really profit motivated.

If you want a good cheap AIS APP I suggest leeus’ Ship Finder. What set’s us apart is we are using a commercial AIS data network to track the ships… so you will have much less potential for error & downtime. But AIS is just the start, we are building this app to be a platform for communication… our hope being that one-day USCG, pilots, agents, etc. will be better suited to communicate faster and more effectively with each-other.

That being said, I agree 100%, using the application during a navigational watch would be a foolish idea… but that doesn’t mean the agent can’t use it to when he’s running late to meet a ship.

My worry, however, isn’t a watch officer using the app (I really don’t think they would be that foolish) but a boater or inland guy using it for collision avoidance because they are too cheap to buy a real AIS unit. The problem is there is no good way to prevent stupidity. Even a huge disclaimer is unlikely to keep the determined away.


#5

As they say, “you can’t fix stupid”.

Sort of like the [U]Captain[/U] making a Facebook post while waiting for another unit to vacate the berth, in a VERY narrow channel, with petroleum products onboard…

Kind of makes you wonder.


#6

[quote=john;21103] our hope being that one-day USCG, pilots, agents, etc. will be better suited to communicate faster and more effectively with each-other.

That being said, I agree 100%, using the application during a navigational watch would be a foolish idea… but that doesn’t mean the agent can’t use it to when he’s running late.[/quote]

That would be a great application for the technology. I can’t count all the times the agent was trying to call me or vice-verca for eta’s to the dock, with no connections. AIS information from his/her phone would surely assist.


#7

Anyone using an IPhone app to get the job shouldn’t be in a wheelhouse to begin with.

As for a real-time AIS app

www.marinetraffic.com is what I’ve started using in NY Harbor with some success.