By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

July 23, 2014 | 1 min read

Australian swimmers are being protected from shark attacks thanks to Clever Buoy, a shark mitigation service created by M&C Saatchi and Google.

The buoy has a sonar unit which sits on the bottom of the ocean and scans to detect sharks.

“In the actual buoy itself is a CPU and data that …so within microseconds it can identity if it is a shark or not. It then sends a message from the buoy to the satellite network, and then back to a lifeguard to basically do something about it,” Ben Cooper, group innovation director at M&C Saatchi explained.

The agency had been briefed by Optus, the second largest tel-co in Australia for the creation of the system.

“Google’s role was to try to put digital and technology at the heart,” Roberta Macdonald, head of creative agency engagement at Google, added.

“As far as technology is concerned, the shark mitigation services guys are at the heart of the sonar technology. The [Google Plus] circles really provide an opportunity to communicate different messages to different groups of people privately.”

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