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Rower-tracking software was created in Hawaii


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POSTED: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sedentary folk living vicariously online through solo rower Roz Savage are doing so thanks to Hawaii-based Archinoetics LLC, owned by husband-and-wife tech-team Hunter and Tracy Downs.

There will soon be an iPhone application, so followers can track Savage while they, too, are on the go.

Savage, 41, left Honolulu Sunday on the second leg of her three-part journey to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean.

Clicking on the “;Where's Roz”; picture on her Web site brings up the RozTracker, an interactive map showing Hawaii and the vast blue body she is boating across—as well as the points at which she has posted updates to social media sites, videos to YouTube.com and the like.

The “;Journal”; button “;is the one place that keeps track of all of her social media messages,”; said Tracy Downs, Archinoetics co-founder.

“;It's been amazing. In 24 hours there have been 6,000 hits to the site,”; she said yesterday afternoon.

The RozTracker sprouted from Project Niu, an educational program Archinoetics is involved with via grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It teaches students about ocean science, technology and environmental stewardship and can answer simple questions such as, What happens to trash when it leaves the shore? It also provides more complex oceanographic data.

“;Niu”; is Hawaiian for coconut—and Archinoetics has created high-tech “;coconuts”; equipped with Iridium satellite phones, solar panels and sensors that gather and transmit data as the oceangoing pods float about.

Because of Savage's interest in and focus on the environment, “;we have a fourth sensor that she's carrying on her boat, that she's going to launch when she gets to the equator,”; Downs said.

Savage told Archinoetics that in her dream world she would also have a tracking and transmitting system.

Voila—the RozTracker was developed.

It uses Google Maps and takes data from Savage's Solara Field Tracker GPS system giving site viewers the map, journal entries and graphs measuring her heading, distances and speed as well as her days at sea, miles traveled and number of oar strokes.

A RozTracker widget for Web sites and options for Facebook and iGoogle are available, and Archinoetics' iPhone application is undergoing the approval process at California-based Apple Inc.

Archinoetics has previously created medical apps for the iPhone.

The company was founded 4 1/2 years ago, “;and we have grown from a six-person company to a 30-person company of hardware and software engineers.”;

“;We are lucky to be able to keep (them) working in Hawaii,”; Downs said.