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This New Tracking System Will Stop Swimmers and Divers Being Left Behind on the Great Barrier Reef

The technology scans your handprint, then allows tour operators to track your movements while you're in the water.
By Sarah Ward
May 20, 2018
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This New Tracking System Will Stop Swimmers and Divers Being Left Behind on the Great Barrier Reef

The technology scans your handprint, then allows tour operators to track your movements while you're in the water.
By Sarah Ward
May 20, 2018
  shares

Swimming, snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef all rank right up there on everyone's bucket list, but splashing around away from the shore isn't without its perils. If you've been scared off by stories of tourists being left behind in the water — or watched too many ocean-based horror films, given it's a growing genre — then an Australian-developed new tracking system might appease your fears. In a world first, it allows tour operators to know where everyone is when they're in the water. And, of course, it helps them ensure that everyone has hopped back onboard.

Called the Tourist Onboard Management System, or TOMS, the system works in two ways. Firstly, everyone on the tour has their palm prints scanned upon boarding and disembarking the vessel. Secondly, while in the water, swimmers wear a waterproof wristband with an in-built GPS tracker. Back on deck, their movements can be charted in real time — so, as you're paddling around — with the system boasting one-metre accuracy.

Currently at the prototype stage, TOMS underwent its first test in Cairns this week, the ABC reports. And while it might sound like a fancier, more expensive way to do something that people have been doing unaided for years — that is, count folks — the system helps tackle the issue of human error. If the trials prove successful, it's hoped that it'll be rolled out among commercial operators in around 12 months time.

Via ABC / Cairns Post.

Published on May 20, 2018 by Sarah Ward

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