Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Helios: An iPhone/iPod Touch App Sun Position Calculator

Wow this is a cool iPhone application!

Introducing Helios - An iPhone/iPod Touch application that graphically predicts the path of the sun from dusk to dawn, on any given day, in any given place.

Designed as an aid to Cinematographers and Stills Photographers working in natural light, Helios is essential to anyone who needs to plan a day around the constantly changing character of sunlight. Gaffers, Grips, Location Managers, Production Designers and First Assistant Directors will already be aware of the value of this information. Other professionals, from Architects and Surveyors to Electricians and Landscape Gardeners can now predict sun exposure in the field, without the need for complex tables or graphs.

Iphone Version of video

Helios operates in 3 modes:

HelioMeter is a graphical representation of the sun's position on a compass dial (azimuth) for any time of day, showing the sun's elevation and proportional length of shadow an object would cast.

SkyView is an overall view of the sun's path in the sky through the day

Inclinometer View predicts the sun's height at any given time in the day. Essentially an electronic inclinometer that reads in both time and angle.

Raw Data view provides numerical information where figures are preferable.

Helios has an internal database of over 30,000 locations around the world, providing longitude, latitude, timezone and daylight savings information. There is an ability to save favorite locations and add the current location from GPS data (where a signal is available). Core functionality is not reliant on cellphone reception. Likewise Helios will work on the iPod Touch though you have to select a nearest location from the database or manually enter the GPS coordinates.

Utilizing algorithms created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and The National Geophysical Data Center to predict the sun's movement (including nutation offsets) and magnetic declination, Helios is accurate to a tiny fraction of a degree.

If you have any questions, notice any bugs, or have any feature requests, please don't hesitate to email us. If you find a good bug we'll credit you and if it's a really good suggestion we'll refund the cost of your app. Can't say fairer than that.