An interesting new iPhone app called Trapster has been released which will alert iPhone users of approaching speed traps, red light cameras and other live police traps.
Trapster makes use of Wi-Fi, cell tower location positioning and GPS features of iPhone to find out your current location and uses social networking to provide you real-time information on traps.
A startup, Trapster is looking at a creative way of using
geopositioning and social networking to help drivers avoid known and
newly discovered speed traps and other live police traps with their
Trapster makes use of Wi-Fi, cell tower location positioning and GPS features of the iPhone to keep track of your current location.
The iPhone app gives you heads up on speed cameras, red-light cameras,
hiding places, and live police that could be patrolling that area by playing an alert sound which can be configured based on the type of alert.
The data on the live police traps comes from other tipsters (users) on the Trapster Network which is frequently updated. Since the data of the traps is generated by other users, it uses a karma system and a confidence scale to make sure tipsters aren’t providing useless tips.
You can also report a trap by simply tapping the iPhone screen which will mark your current location as a trap.
The iPhone app has been integrated with iPhone’s Google maps application but it does not allow you to drap the map with your fingers, you can zoom in and zoom out using the on-screen buttons. So you can only see traps around your current location.
The success of the application will depend on the number of users using the app as the data needs to be generated by users. Based on the statistics available on their website, more than 34k iPhone users are already using this app, there are more than 110k Trapster users worldwide (as they have clients for other mobiles as well) and more than 55k traps have been generated.
As per the developer they only need 10 active users in each city to provide a reasonable amount of coverage for live police and new traps on major thoroughfares, a number which has already been met in places like Rhode Island, Florida, and San Diego.
If you are concerned that this application is doing something fundamentally wrong or illegal then here is the developers take on it:
"If you are concerned you should probably check the laws in your state or country, but our lawyers don’t think so. In fact, the police we’ve spoken with actually like the idea. It beeps, people slow down, they have met their objective, you save money on the ticket and insurance, and everyone is happy."
Fair enough! But I am a little concerned about people focusing on tipping others about a live trap by tapping on the iPhone screen rather than looking in front.
You can checkout the screen shots of the iPhone app below:
The iPhone app is available for free so give it a spin by downloading it from the App Store. Let us know how it goes and if it helped you save any money on speeding tickets.
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