Over 70% of our planet is covered by oceans, which drive our weather and climate systems and provide for a $1.5 trillion global economy. Yet, even with modern technology and our astounding digitizing capability, we know less about our oceans than we do about the surface of the moon.
Ocean observations are difficult. In part because of the inherently harsh nature of the marine environment, and in part due to high cost of traditional instruments, which often require specialized equipment and crew to deploy and maintain. This means that data collection is limited and highly exclusive, mostly relying on governments, large research institutions, and big companies who can afford the equipment and operations. As a consequence, ocean data are exceedingly sparse.
We are out to change that.
Technology changes the way we do things. Early Polynesian Wayfinders navigated their way across the Pacific using celestial navigation and understanding of coastal wave patterns. Most of us can't do that anymore. However, technology provides us with new capabilities to connect to our physical world. Every day we measure and digitize our living space in amazing detail using GPS, cell phones, cameras, and other widely-available sensing technologies. We want to extend that to the ocean.
Our goal is to make ocean data more available by getting more of us involved in making ocean observations. Spotter was designed to make that possible. To us, Spotter is a stepping-stone toward a globally-extended data network, and a more connected ocean.
Welcome to the digital ocean!
Who we are
The Spoondrift team is passionate about exploring new ways of doing things, and changing the way we look at ocean observations. We came together from three different but critical perspectives: deep domain expertise in oceanography, human-centered product design, and the engineering know-how to get it all done.
What we have in common: we all love doing cool stuff, we love the ocean enough to live in Half Moon Bay, and we office within walking distance of Mavericks. As a team, we are a unique blend of design thinking, tech and engineering-savvy, entrepreneurship, and high standards -- with enough dogs around the office to keep us grounded.