At this time of year, many of us are thinking about hitting the beach for some sun, sea, sand… and sharks.
Yes… not to pop your summer mojo or anything, but between 1580 and 2013, there were a total of 2,881 shark attacks around the globe, according to the International Shark Attack File. Of those attacks, 569 were fatal. Furthermore, about 40% of those attacks were right in our own backyard, with the United States racking up 1,184 attacks during that period.
However, sharks now have a new enemy – technology.
We’re not talking about killing the animals, though. After all, we’re in their territory when we go in the water. Rather, it’s a form of early warning system.
Called “Clever Buoy,” the innovation is the brainchild of Australian company, Shark Mitigation Systems. And it’s your best friend if you find yourself in a close encounter with Jaws in the deep blue ocean…
So how exactly can our buddy protect us from shark attacks? I’m glad you asked…
Calling All Guards…
Designed to protect swimmers and surfers, Clever Buoy has made quite an impression on Australia’s beaches. It’s a system designed to relay sonar alerts to satellites (and lifeguards) whenever one of the predators swims within dangerous range of a human.
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Hamish Jolly, Co-Founder of Shark Mitigation Systems, points out two important benefits:
- Historically, it’s been difficult to see a shark with sonar. But Clever Buoy breaks the mold and makes it possible to identify the beasts.
- Clever Buoy can distinguish sharks from other objects in the water by learning the specific ways that sharks swim.
When a shark is detected, it triggers a signal to a satellite, which then alerts lifeguards on the beach via a flashing light in the guard tower.
With this new ability, “we’ll know whether to put the alarm on, or whether just to send the jet-ski out to check the condition,” says Bruce Hopkins, Whoolahra Council Chief Lifeguard.
Clever Buoy isn’t quite ready to be commercialized. Its makers still want to sharpen its sonar and shark recognition software. But once released, this technology will, no doubt, save lives.
Ahead of the tape,
Tech Research Team