Surfers crowdsource oceanic data using Smartfin IoT sensors – Network World

December 12, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

Surfers conduct scientific research while surfing. Seriously. And it’s a valuable contribution.

Coastal communities are most affected by climate change. The problem is strong waves make it difficult to install sensors close to coastlines to monitor near-shore conditions. Surfers, however, flock to big waves. Is it possible to use surfers to cost-effectively gather near-shore data around the globe—to turn them into citizen scientists? 

Researchers in the Smartfin project say yes. 

Background of the Smartfin project

Smartfin is the brain child of Dr. Andrew Stern at The Lost Bird Project. It is engineered by Benjamin Thompson of BoardFormula. Surfrider Foundation provides logistical and outreach support for the distribution of fins to its network of surfers worldwide. And researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the world’s leading institutions for oceanographic research, validate the scientific application of Smartfin in the surf zone.