Swell Advantage, a marine navigation and social network app for recreational boaters, seeks to make the social side of boating easier by allowing boaters to see friends and family out on the water, while maintaining privacy from others who may be using the same area.
It also provides up-to-date information to help boaters make informed navigation decisions out on the water.
Located in what they deem ‘Canada’s ocean playground’, Halifax, Nova Scotia, the team launched the first version of the app in July of this year, and after receiving market feedback, has adjusted features to better serve mariner and casual boater needs.
Iaian Archibald, CEO of Swell Advantage Ltd., said, “Most marine apps are trying to duplicate hardware’s traditional software and functionality on mobile. Swell Advantage is different because we’re focused on leveraging the sensors in mobile, and the power of being networked, to provide new and unique tools for boaters that re-invent the boating experience.”
Regarding marine navigation, the app provides a clean interface that is optimized for mobile.
On the social side, Swell Advantage allows boaters to identify and locate their friends and family out on the water. Understanding that privacy is important, Swell Advantage’s location sharing is turned off as soon as the operator of the boat steps onto shore. At home, the app provides family members peace of mind by updating them on the position of loved ones out on the water.
Archibald said, “When they’re out on the water, boaters can see who’s out on the water, and they can tap their icon and see their speed, see their heading, know who’s out there, and know what they’re doing.”
CTO Craig Shepherd said, “A lot of my family are fisherman, and until now if they were trying to find where each other are, there are two ways to do it: you can use the radio and then everybody knows where you are, or you can use a cell phone, in which case it’s a one-to-one conversation. You have to do a lot more management to determine a location where everybody will be meeting up.”
An iOS version is currently available, with an Android version ready for deployment in the coming weeks.
For the founders, the app scratches an itch that they themselves had. Archibald said, “The idea is that in talking to our customers, and having spent a lot of years out on the water, we have really just tried to design a product that fits our customers’ needs, fits their lifestyles, and helps them navigate and make decisions when they’re out on the water.”