Surveylab, a Wellington, New Zealand based company created and markets the Ike. Ike combines a GPS with a laser range finder, compass, inclinometer and digital camera with a Pocket PC in an integrated unit, creating a complete GIS data capture device. The company develops and markets portable devices for specialist and trade applications. You can now read our review.
Companies conducting surveys need to establish location with precision. Current methods involve carrying laptops with GPS devices, external antennas and more. Ike provides a small package solution for data capture. To capture information about a target, the Ike includes an iPAQ Pocket PC with Windows Mobile 2003, a laser finder, GPS, digital compass, inclinometer and digital camera, in a single ruggedised unit.
With this single unit in hand, survey can be as simple as pointing the device to the target (a pole for example), looking through the image on the screen, aiming the laser finder and pressing a button. The Pocket PC will collect the information from the GPS, based on the laser finder information it'll calculate the distance to the target, and with the suplementary information from the inclinometer it'll derive the precise location of this item. Press the button and you have a picture in the database.
All this data is then synchronised when back in the office, via USB or Bluetooth.
Ike comes complete with manual and a basic data capture application. A Software Development Kit, which shows you how to develop and customise applications, is available as an optional extra.
An example on Surveylab's website shows the Khandallah stream (which is actually very close to where Geekzone is currently based). There were concerns that earthworks in the area may have caused obstructions, or changed the course of the stream. A survey was required to assess the area, and Ike was trialled alongside a traditional GPS device.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council were able to find the actual position of the stream, and visually assess blockages and other potential hazards from within the office. This was achieved using ike's captured images of each captured point. With a single click on the map, the image captured at that point is displayed, showing a potential blockage at the selected location.
Ike is a Pocket PC running a 400MHz Intel XScale CPU, with 128MB SDRAM, 48MB Flash ROM, SD slot and Bluetooth. The laser finder has a 100m range, and the built-in digital camera captures images of up to 1280 x 1024 pixels.