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Surfing Big waves for Big Data

Surfboard Collects Oceanic Data

Do you know that only 5 % of the world’s oceans have been explored? Smart surfboards equipped with sensors could change this.

Surfer and engineer Benjamin Thompson invented a smart surfboard fin equipped with a sensitive sensor that measures the temperature, salinity, and acidity of the water. All the collected data can give researchers insight on the impact of climate change over time.

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benjamin thompson, founder of board formula

benjamin thompson, founder of board formula

[column]The smart fin has been developed in the last 2 years and it’s in the testing phase right now. This fall, Thompson’s idea was selected as one of 18 teams competing for the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. Now, he must prove that the device can withstand the harshest waves the world’s oceans have to offer and still deliver accurate results. If it works, the fin could help turn surfers around the globe into a fleet of citizen scientists, crowdsourcing information on what is, perhaps, Earth’s most opaque natural resource.

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