2013 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Surf Lifesaving Australia - Tracker [DRAFT]




Project Overview

The Purpose of the Tracker project was to provide the Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) organisation with a cost effective way of tracking their surf life saving workforce, and the location of any hazards, such as tide rips, stingers, sharks, shallow water etc.

Project Commissioner

Surf Lifesaving Australia

Project Creator

Alive Mobile


Kim Grantham - Creative Director
Julian Robertshawe - Technical Director
Sha-mayne Chan - Head of Mobile Business Design
Simon Torsellini - Head of Experience
Jeroen Verbeek - Lead Application Designer
Amritah Pathak - Lead Experience Designer
Dylan Blazevic - Experience Designer
Bavananth Thavapalan - Application Designer
Doug Lee - Application Designer
Ronald Huynh - Application Designer

Project Brief

Surf Lifesaving Australia required a mobile application for smartphones that tracks the location of surf lifesavers and hazards via GPS tracking. This application will allow SLSA to determine the location of the Lifesavers at anytime. It will also allow SLSA to confirm the routes travelled / Search patterns used by the surf lifesavers while on Rescue craft such as jet Skis and Off shore rescue boats.

The Data also needs to populate a web service, and make the information available to general public. For exanple, once a life saver marks a hazard on a beach, like a rip, this data will be captured and presented on a web based mapping service (google maps etc), and be viewable by the general public to pre-warn them of hazards.

Project Need

Previously, surf lifesaving authorities around the world had experimented with GPS devices to collect waypoint information for beach hazards. There were no instances of using exsiting smartphone technology to record the same information. Much of this was due to the fragile nature of smart devices. During the experiment, we purchased sealable plastic bags to waterproof the devices when at sea. On top of this, with the large potential user base of 165,000 surf life savers, user adoption was going to be key.

There were several technical challenges including creating interface designs that allowed lifesavers with no training to operate the controls in the bright sunlight. Additionally, we had to cater for multiple devices and develop the solution for multiple operating systems.

User Experience

Surf Life Saving is Australia's major water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority. They create a safe environment on Australia's beaches and coastline through patrols, education and training, public safety campaigns and the promotion of health and fitness. This Application will reach Surf Lifesaving Australia's 165,820 members, Australia's Largest Volunteer movement.

As well as volunteer services, Surf lifesaving Australia is the country's largest lifeguard service, contracting to local government and other coastal land managers.

In the 2011-12 season, the volunteer patrol members were involved in 12,610 rescues, while paid lifeguards rescued 2,818 more, taking the total number of lives saved since 1907 to over 615,000.

Through the tracker application Surf Lifesaving Australia's can track the safety of its members, and simply report on incidents and hazards in real-time.

Project Marketing

As this is an internal app for the SLSA, there was limited external marketing involved. A press release was generated internally to various Surf Life Saving Clubs and councils about the technology advances and the value of the application.

This category relates to applications developed in order to aid and facilitate organisations requiring mobility whilst out of the office.
More Details