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Land Survey Monument Is Alive

April 11, 2007
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Pittsburgh, Pa. – A Carnegie-Mellon (Mechanical Engineering, Tepper) and University of Akron (Surveying Engineering/GIS) graduate has an international pending patent on a real-time data-distribution device, which is to be attached to a surveyor's boundary corner/control point markers. Product availability is scheduled for second quarter 2007. With this device, termed an "Intelligent Topographic Device (ITD), the possible types of data collection are extensive and varied, well beyond merely those related to surveying.

Once deployed, the ITD network provides sensor opportunities for: automatic communication with sensor populated clothing allowing for everything from exercise analysis to Internet-enabled remote hugs as pressure sensors on your shirt send the response to your significant other’s; real-time open parking space locations with rent-ahead-and-hold capability; smart-road traffic alerts for ice, accidents, or construction and real-time flow analysis for driver re-routing; real-time medical monitoring with data moving from ITD to ITD as a patient walks or runs – with real-time alerts coming back should the patient show signs of medical concern; house-by-house weather forecasting; and highly granular real-time display of toxic agent releases for homeland security response and evacuation analysis.

A land surveyor will provide the GPS (global positioning system – this equipment is required as a prerequisite for deploying the ITDs) coordinates and meta data history (data defining the logic of the millimeter accuracy boundary or control point location) electronically to the ITD as the ITD is placed, sealed and buried, on top of the location pin (usually a steel rod). Battery life for the $49.95 (target price) unit is expected to be 20 years when used only for pin location. The surveying organization’s monthly access fee is $29.95 plus a connection hardware fee of $399.00 each per office and communications distance extension requirement. ITDs will initially come pre-packed in quantities of 12, and all orders are prepaid and can be placed over the Internet via credit card. Orders can be placed immediately, but shipping may take six to eight weeks as the manufacturing pipeline gets fully implemented. At the end of that period, orders can be turned around in a few days. Once volumes reach discount levels, device prices will fall sharply.

All data from and to the ITD is encrypted at several security levels to minimize hacker attack. As well, the ad hoc mesh network topology is self-healing and automatically reroutes data to working ITDs should their neighbor ITDs be made inoperable for any reason. Personal and commercial/industrial client-controlled data access requires a logon ID and password at the portal. Personal and public data and location-based-search are free.

"We are excited by the opportunity in this emerging market," said Scott Minor, Chief Executive Officer, CyberUtility, LLC. "We believe it is time to bring the survey marker into the 21st century, and to significantly reduce the field time for surveyors in looking for boundary corners and control points. In addition, we facilitate the delivery of real-time sensor and location-aware-search services to a time-constrained need-it-now population."

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