A brand new phone app that allows you to retrieve flight information when you point your cell phone directly at a plane flying above you is available today.
“Plane Finder AR is an I-phone augmented reality app that promises to give you the origin and destination of any plane you point at it the sky,” according to the website Boing Boing.
The new cell phone application was demonstrated on Fox Weekend Sunday morning, and it appeared to pick up all the flights nearing JFK airport going overhead of the Fox Studios. It was a quick response once the cell phone was pointed to the sky.
This phone application will work on planes that are carrying the ADS-B equipment and it has to be flying in the area where the developer of the app has equipment in place. The only place it will not work right now is in Australia, according to Boing Boing.
The app will tell you the plane’s speed, flight number, where it is going, and its distant away from you that it is. This information shows up on your cell phone’s screen.The cost of this application is only $2.99, according to Fox.
The opponents of the public use of this application have brought up some very good points. This application can be used to help terrorists who may want to shoot down the planes.
The reason for this application can do nothing more for the average Joe than offer a little bit of entertainment. After checking out a few of the planes overhead, this is going to get old.
Is this small amount of entertainment worth jeopardizing our skies for? Just because the technology exists, doesn’t mean we should use it. We live in a post 9-11 world today and the terrorists are not people that might be out there, they are out there.
Many of us wonder where the jet overhead is taking the people aboard. It is a wanderlust day dream that frequently occurs when seeing a jet far above us. This exercise in imagination has gone on since the invention of flight. Part of the fun of this day dreaming is to imagine, what the people look like, how crowed the plane is and most of all you wonder about its destination.
This is the way it should stay, leave it to our imaginations to where these big jets are going. Leave it to the terrorists imagination too, where they cannot get the exact location of our planes in the skies.
The people that make the application at Plane Finder – AR say that the information offered on the cell phone application is already offered online. It may be, but there is not a program that is offered where you can point at a plane and get the real time measurements of speed and distance.
Apparently the makers of the application took this possibility into consideration and put a 30 second delay on the information you receive with this app on your cell phone. “If a terrorist should take aim with the statistics given on this cell phone, they will “fail miserably with hitting the target, due to the time delay”.
I question this as being a safeguard, especially now that it is public knowledge there is a 30 second delay. This delay is easily calculated into the equation for taking aim with a missile using typical high school math.
Reference: Fox News Weekend, Boing Boing