The parking meter sprint could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new smartphone app developed by two Brisbane men.
Mark Schroder and Patrick Acheampong have developed ParkingMaestro, an application that uses a phone's inbuilt GPS to alert users when they need to start returning to their cars before their ticket expires.
Users scan or input parking details, then the phone will track their movements and use an algorithm to tell them when they need to begin walking back to their cars.
The pair came up with the idea and worked with one of the University of Queensland’s commercial enterprises, ilab, to make it reality.
"There are few people living in inner city areas who have their own garage and don’t have to worry about when their parking is expiring," he said.
"What compounds the issue is your car is nearly always parked in a different place every day, which can be hard to keep track of, and the time it takes to get back to your vehicle is easily misjudged, or you forget, which results in an expensive fine.
"Our solution was to develop an app that alerts you when you need to start walking back to your car, regardless of how far it is."
ilab’s Germinate program offers support for start-up businesses and ideas such as Mr Schroder’s and Mr Acheampong, to enable them to get their ideas off the ground.
It is a division of UQ’s main commercialisation company UniQuest.
ilab Program Director Bernie Woodcroft said the ParkingMaestro developers were outstanding participants in ilab's Germinate Program.
"The program provides access to industry mentors, successful entrepreneurs and funding support, giving applicants like Mark and Patrick the opportunity to develop their digital business ideas into reality," he said.
"Parking is a huge problem in the world's cities and I’m excited to see the continued growth of their business with this release."
ParkingMaestro is available for iPhone via iTunes and through www.parkingmaestro.com.
The app is being adapted for Android.
Applications are now open for the next round of the ilab Germinate Program.
Go to www.ilab.com.au for more information.