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Old 10-06-2015, 07:48   #1
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Are there any app developers here?

Probably the wrong forum but hopefully the right audience. I'm wondering if anyone can develop a fairly simple (I think?) app along the lines of the deadmans switch/Watchmate etc. for iPad/iPhone.
Basically a timed alarm that increases in volume every 15 minutes, till the reset button is pressed. So, set the time period, a pop up box comes up 30 seconds before the alarm starts to reset the alarm. If the box isn't pressed the alarm starts at low volume, increasing over a minute or two to maximum volume (enough to wake the crew)
Whenever the popup or disable alarm button is pressed the app automatically resets to the predetermined time, 15 minutes or whatever. Buttons need to be big and non confusing. A basic layout is better than anything fancy when you're sleepy. It should run in the background.
Obviously power is important so probably an alarm if the device gets to 10% would be a wise feature as well. The phone or iPad could be left plugged in or carried by the crew on watch.
Personally I'd pay a reasonable amount for an app like this and I think a lot of others would as well. Anyone able to give it a try?
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:17   #2
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

That would be a fairly easy app to develop for Android, and I already suspect one exists. Unfortunately I'm not an Apple developer so I can't comment there.

However, this seems like using a sledgehammer to sink a nail. I bought a few $3 timers from Walmart that do exactly what you are asking. The best part is they run on 2 AA batteries and last for months. Their alarms are easily as loud as the loudest setting on any mobile device.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:23   #3
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Monte,
iPad and iPhone have as operating system the so called iOS. There is no one of the OpenCPN developers who is able to program for iOS. He must be also a signed Apple developer to be able to distribute such a software with Apples App Store. Otherwise it can only installed for hacked devices (Jailbreaked).

Gerhard
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:34   #4
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
That would be a fairly easy app to develop for Android, and I already suspect one exists. Unfortunately I'm not an Apple developer so I can't comment there.

However, this seems like using a sledgehammer to sink a nail. I bought a few $3 timers from Walmart that do exactly what you are asking. The best part is they run on 2 AA batteries and last for months. Their alarms are easily as loud as the loudest setting on any mobile device.

Thanks trav, but unfortunately nothing really exists except some hardware based systems that cost a couple of hundred dollars. I haven't come across any cheap timers that will do as mentioned. Maybe some that will require quite a bit of button pressing in between alarms to reset the time and restart the timer like an alarm clock. The idea of the deadmans switch is that it's foolproof and sleep proof
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:36   #5
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

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Monte,
iPad and iPhone have as operating system the so called iOS. There is no one of the OpenCPN developers who is able to program for iOS. He must be also a signed Apple developer to be able to distribute such a software with Apples App Store. Otherwise it can only installed for hacked devices (Jailbreaked).

Gerhard

Thanks car. I'm a bit surprised. I had in mind that anyone with the skills can develop an app and submit it to apple for review and uploading to iTunes. Given the amount of crappy apps available, I wouldn't think the bar is set too high for developers

Well maybe this would be a nice add on for opencpn then ...
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:47   #6
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

I do some Android programming; it would be a simple enough app... I would be concerned that the tablet or phone couldn't get loud enough, especially in weather when you'd want to shield it.

It's relatively easy to get safe and reasonably professional apps onto the Apple and Google stores, but you have to be signed up as a developer in both cases (Apple charges like US$99/yr to belong) and there's various hoops and tests you have to jump through to sign your app, get it approved, etc. So it's not a terribly high bar to entry to make and distribute Android or IOS apps, but it does require some commitment from the developer to not only learn the language and devices, but also sign up and understand the formalities as well.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:55   #7
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Thanks lake. Yes the alarm would need to be as loud and obnoxious as possible. Our chart table is nearby so we could leave it plugged in and connected to the sound system as well, but ideally portable would be the best. The main reasons for this type of app are
1/ to remind and keep the watch keeper alert and awake
2/ to alert the other crew in the event the watch keeper is disabled or fallen overboard within an acceptable timeframe
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:13   #8
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Ideally, I would envision a sort of watch/log/timing system that would include a configurable interval timer + deadman function. There'd be a central unit (or an accessory plugged into a computer) with some serious alarm sounders etc. Assuming wifi or bluetooth, phones could be used to control the system, and could also be a digital 'tether' to a cellphone or a fob carried by each crewmember.

Fun factor - the thing could do ships' bells too

Hmmm....

(Ok, so I won't be getting any real work done today, now )
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:45   #9
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Thanks trav, but unfortunately nothing really exists except some hardware based systems that cost a couple of hundred dollars. I haven't come across any cheap timers that will do as mentioned. Maybe some that will require quite a bit of button pressing in between alarms to reset the time and restart the timer like an alarm clock. The idea of the deadmans switch is that it's foolproof and sleep proof
There are tons of timers that do what you want and they are all under $20. The one I have counts down from any time you set, then Alarms (super loud) UNTIL the Start/Stop button is pressed. You need to simply press the button a second time to restart the timer. The button is large and easy to "feel" for in the dark. Mine is small enough to clip to your shirt, or it can sit upright. We also use them as alarm clocks for the off watch person. Just set the watch time (2 hours) and go to sleep. I prefer having a timer on the person off watch and not relying on the watch person to wake them. It acts as a backup in case the person on watch does fall asleep.

Here are 4 options that do the same thing.
http://www.amazon.com/HeroNeo%C2%AE-...=kitchen+timer

Amazon.com: Wrenwane Digital Kitchen Timer: Kitchen & Dining

Amazon.com: FaSoLa® White Kitchen Digital Timer: Kitchen & Dining

Electronic Large LCD Display Digital Magnetic Kitchen Cook Count Down Up Timer: Amazon.ca: Home & Kitchen
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:20   #10
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Did you have a look at theOpenCPN watchdog plug-in?
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Old 10-06-2015, 13:21   #11
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Thanks bcn. I just downloads watchdog. It seems ok and has a deadmans switch but it would need a couple of features like increasing volume alarm to be practical, or at least a low volume warning alarm a minute or two before the second alarm. Maybe I'll see if I can make an increasing volume audio file to use it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 13:48   #12
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

I could give this a go, unless Lake-Effect is taking it up?

It's a simple app so should be easy doing something cross platform. Fun bit would then be hooking it up to your smart band / fitbit / pebble watch.
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Old 10-06-2015, 14:37   #13
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Have you checked the alarm app? Dunno about iOS but my ancient Android phone has a countdown timer function in it's alarm app that does basically what you want. I use it when sailing at times to remind me to make my log entries.
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Old 10-06-2015, 16:14   #14
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Android version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...watchalertfree
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Old 10-06-2015, 16:34   #15
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Re: Are there any app developers here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Thanks bcn. I just downloads watchdog. It seems ok and has a deadmans switch but it would need a couple of features like increasing volume alarm to be practical, or at least a low volume warning alarm a minute or two before the second alarm. Maybe I'll see if I can make an increasing volume audio file to use it.
I requested a second alarm in the watchdog plugin and it was implemented.

Have another look at the configuration.

Cheers,
JM.
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