Thursday, 28 August 2014

Shark notifications to your wrist whilst out surfing

iKoast smart watch notifications,

At iKoast we are always striving for new ways to help keep our users informed on reported sharks. We are now looking into a smart watch integration, which would allow all of our users to receive shark location data to be sent direct to your wrist from your mobile phone.
Pebble's new smart watch is rated at 5ATM (50m waterproof). All smartphones have available cases that are waterproof these days.
So water users, you could have your pebble watch on with your smartphone in it's water proof case, zipped up in your surf shorts, and go out surfing with a little bit of back up from iKoast.
If a shark is spotted and a pin dropped near you, you will receive a notification to your wrist. When you receive a notification on a smart watch, the watch vibrates.
Please share your thought's with us.
iKoast team

Monday, 5 May 2014

iKoast Pin of the Week: Elemental Stand Up Paddleboarding, Point Walter

Gone: Paddleboarding!

Location: Elementary SUP's main location is at the beautiful Point Walter Reserve, just off Honour Ave, Bicton on the Swan River.  They're also based at Jon Tonkin Reserve (East Fremantle), Busselton Jetty and Augusta.

iKoast Activity: Elemental Stand Up Paddleboarding, Point Walter

iKoast Activity Map: Point Walter

Wow Factor: Point Walter is hands down the best location to spend a day SUP'ing, especially if you’re a beginner. It's completely sheltered from the wind coming from either direction so it's flat, glassy water couldn’t be more perfect for an intro lesson or leisurely paddle.

Aerial View of Point Walter
Aerial View of Point Walter

For those who haven’t been, Point Walter Reserve is an awesome park for the entire family, complete with a playground, picnic areas, swimming, showers/toilets, free BBQs - not to mention Walter's River Cafe. The only thing catch is that it's not dog-friendly so you'll have the leave the pooch behind.

Point Walter Reserve
Point Walter Reserve, picnic area

Do: Sign up for a 2 hour Introductory River Cruise lesson. You’ll be taught all the skills you need to get you standing and feeling confident including: prone paddling and knee paddling, board control, how to turn the board, foot placement, stance and self rescue.

After the intro lesson, the cruise then takes you out on a guided paddling trip up the river through scattered boats along the cliff faces towards Blackwall reach where you can put your new skills to the test and explore Blackwood River’s secret passages ways.

Got skills or keen to practice on your own? Rentals starts at just $50

Don’t: Be shy! Elemental's instructors have taught SUP'ers as young as 6 and as old as 76 years - their tailored lessons cater to all capabilities and fitness levels. Speaking of fitness, SUP is an amazing core work out from head to toe, so get ripped while enjoying the sunshine and breeze!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

iKoast App: Shark Cull Ends, Debate Continues – Community Alternatives right here in WA

What a summer.

Of 110 sharks caught under the WA government's catch-and-kill policy: 105 were tiger sharks, 33 were destroyed, 14 already dead…. giving us a grand total fail count of ZERO GREAT WHITES. 
While today marks the end of the shark cull trial, if approved by the Federal Environment Minister, the WA community stands to endure three more years of  cruelty to our marine life.
Drumlines have killed 50 tiger sharks in WA
As we await the May 8 decision, the Environmental Protection Authority (despite rejecting 23,000 anti-cull submissions last month) has now agreed to assess the cull which if approved, will resume on 15 November this year until the end of April 2017. They’ve promised a detailed assessment of environmental impacts of the proposed 22-week program every year for three years on WA’s marine fauna. We’re hoping the report will have a few things to say about the 105 tiger sharks caught on our drumlines, yet to pose a threat to humans.

Alternatives to shark culling
A few weeks ago at a #nowasharkcull forum, iKoast were invited along to chat about community alternatives to culling. Among the presenters were Shark Scientist, Riley Elliot from New Zealand, Free Diver and “Shark Whisperer” Ocean Ramsey and the University of Western Australia’s marine neuroecologist Ryan Kempster. (We admire the work Ocean is doing around the world and look forward to rolling out in Hawaii!)
iKoast with Ocean Ramsay, Oahu based Shark Conservationist

iKoast presented alongside other individuals developing sustainable solutions to reduce the likelihood of shark incidents without government funding, like EcoShark Barrier.
Craig Moss from Eco Shark Barrier shared how his eco-friendly shark nets provide safe and secure swimming environment, for both humans and marine life. Nearly 70 per cent of Coogee beachgoers said they chose to visit Coogee specifically because of the enclosure and felt safer! While they were taken down this week as its trial comes to an end fingers crossed the Cockburn council vote on keeping it there permanently!
Other suggestions at the forum included:
- Magnetic and electric deterrents
- Utilisation of current technology such as drones
- Educating the community on shark behaviour reducing shark incidents. (Hence the Sharksmart website fail)

Here's to hoping this is the last we see of WA's cull policy and hearing us out on community alternatives!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

iKoast Pin of the Week: Salmon Holes, Albany

At iKoast, we live and breathe the great outdoors and part of our mission is to get YOU exploring more of our coast too!

That's why this week we're introducing iKoast's 'Pin of the Week' - a coastal activity snapshot each and every week for your adventure planning pleasure. 

So if you've got a fishing, camping, surfing tip; discovered somewhere new; or maybe you're a coastal business, simply PIN it on the iKoast App and tip us on Twitter using #ikoastpinoftheweek to feature in a weekly write-up.

First up? Our PR Manager, Shahirah spent all Easter reeling in monster salmon down in Albany. Couldn't let a fishing trip go to waste now could we?

iKoast Pin of the Week: Salmon Holes, Albany

Gone: Fishin'

Location: The Salmon Holes, Salmon Hole Road in Torndirrup National Park, Albany. (Almost exactly where a shark was sighted this weekend in Frenchman Bay - good thing iKoasters are on alert!)

For those of you visiting WA, Albany is a 5 hour drive south from Perth.

iKoast Map: Salmon Holes, Torndirrup National Park, Albany
iKoast Activity Pin: Shore Fishing at Salmon Holes, Albany

Wow Factor: The Salmon Holes is one of the best places in Albany for beach fishing, named after the white (not pink) salmon that seek shelter in the calmer waters close to the beach. High season is around Easter time, where fisherman roll in as early as 5am to catch them off the shore and rocks.

If you're not an angler yourself, beach fishing makes for good spectator sport! There's a lookout at the top of the stairs where you can enjoy a fantastic view overlooking the action.

Do: Get there early. By 9am the beach is packed and salmon flip left, right and centre. Usually when one is snapped up, there's plenty closeby hence known as the 'salmon run' which can cause quite a line tangling frenzy (which is not so fun). 

Don't: Forget it's quite a hike down to the shore (roughly 70+ steps and roughly 800 metres each way). Children, elderly, and the unfit - be warned! Note that this area is also notorious for king waves and rock fishing is incredibly dangerous, so be careful.

Worth a trip: What do you think?!

iKoaster: 6kg salmon caught at Salmon Holes, Albany
Got a favorite spot yourself?

Pin it on the iKoast App and tweet us @iKoastAustralia #iKoastpinoftheweek!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

No Go on Fisheries Sharksmart Tracking Feature

If you were wondering whatever happened to Fisheries’ Sharksmart website (the one that promised to share its real time shark tracking in November last year) well, wonder no more – according to Perth Now, Fisheries have dropped the ball on that one and won’t be adding it to its features anytime soon due to ‘publishing protocols’. The Sharksmart website, developed on a whopping budget of $200,000 is yet to figure out how to share its shark tagging detection data to keep our beaches safe. (We've got a few ideas!)

WA Fisheries Sharksmart website will not feature live shark tracking information
While the website does link to @SLSA’s Twitter feed for its shark sighting info, visitors still don’t get a visual location which is tricky for tourists or people who are generally unfamiliar with an area. To help out, iKoast will continue to pin these sightings on our map and retweet it out to the community so they've got a visual reference. We hope that when Sharksmart’s live tracking does eventually kick in, it’ll have the right features and functionality beachgoers can actually rely on.

All’s not lost though, updates to Sharksmart’s website will include some cool features like 23 voiced animations, showing the movement of tagged white sharks off the WA coast and a research data map of all detections recorded by the Department of Fisheries’ Shark Monitoring Network and Cockburn Sound array. This data will be helpful giving beachgoers a snapshot of shark detections much like iKoast’s historical alerts. 

Fisheries if you're reading this - we'd love to tee up!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

6PR Interview with iKoast

In case you missed us on the radio - we joined Peter Bell at 6PR for an awesome arvo chat!

Duration: 3 mins 18 secs • ASR AUD 566 • WA • Australia • iKoast - Radio & TV • ID: W00056709087
28 Mar 2014 12:52 PM

Interview with Paul Holliday, creator of the iKoast app. Holliday says that it took 14 months to create the community-based lifestyle app that maps activities and facilities along the WA coast, while also allowing people to label potential dangers along the coast. Bell says that it has a lot of set information, but is also very interactive. Holliday says they are working on updates to allow users to alert a select group of people about information such as surfing or fishing conditions. Bell says that the app can be used to alert people to shark sightings. 

Holliday says that there was a sighting today, and there are systems set in place already with Surf Life Saving and Fisheries. He says that the app will help people to get a visual of the locations, which he says is good if people are unfamiliar with the area. He says that the free app is available on the iTunes store today, the Play store by the end of the weekend, and on Google Glass and the Samsung Gear Watch in the future.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

iKoast is LIVE

We did it! 

Last Friday, iKoast officially launched at Mullaloo Beach Hotel with the help of MP for Joondalup, Jan Norberger and President of WA Kitesurfing Association, Darren Ellis. A very big thanks to our supporters, friends and family who came along to celebrate our big day, we wouldn't have made it without you!

It's been brilliant (and busy) week getting the iKoast off the ground, and we're ecstatic with the support we've received from the local community and media in helping spread the word. Following our report on Nine News last week, we were featured in the Community Paper on Thursday and then joined Peter Bell on 6PR for an afternoon talk back! Not only did we get chance to chat about how the app works - we gave him a sneak preview of features to come that will allow users to create private meetups around surfing or fishing points. 

And finally, to round out the week - a great feature on IT Wire, a leading Aussie tech mag which you can catch here

Check out our launch pics here!