A new app for the iphone called ‘I-Flag’ is set to revolutionise the lives of semaphore speakers, according to its developer.
Designed to enable communication beyond the limit of the human voice, semaphore was once considered the cutting-edge of communications technology. Despite this, its usefulness was still ultimately restricted by distance, with recipients finding the signal deteriorated completely when out of visual range of the sender. For this reason, use of semaphore has declined over the years, with football linesmen and Grand Prix officials now the most high-profile advocates remaining.
But thanks to tech-genius Martin Shaw, all that looks set to change. “It’s a very simple user interface” he explained. “You’ve got this little keyboard with all the semaphore characters on it and you just tap the ones you need to spell out your message. Choose who you want to send it to, hit ‘Send’ and Voila!”
One semaglot who reviewed the app agreed it was indeed an exciting development. Albert Humphries, a former merchant seaman from Portsmouth said “I’ve got friends in Switzerland, but just to wish them ‘Happy Christmas’ last year I had to pass a message along a chain of 1000 people stretching halfway across Europe. To be fair a message did arrive, although I believe by that point it read ‘Pork Scratchings’.”
But Mr Shaw is not stopping there. “My latest project is even more exciting” he said. “It uses the same keyboard, but instead of sending the message in the semaphore format, I’m designing a service that translates it into speech and sends the whole thing as something I call a ‘Voicemail’.
“Imagine a semaphore user being able to speak to someone on the other side of the planet! This is going to change the world.”