Maui Business

New Maui Beach Locator App Launched

October 24, 2011, 5:33 PM HST
* Updated October 25, 10:50 AM
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The Maui Beach Locator App. Photo courtesy of Kupono Productions.

By Sonia Isotov

Earlier this month, Kupono Productions, Inc., a Maui-based video and software company, released “The Beach Locator,” an Android smartphone app.

The Beach Locator makes it easy for visitors and residents alike to find a Maui beach of choice. It currently covers beaches in South Maui, West Maui and East Maui.

The Beach Locator uses a smartphone’s built-in GPS capability to provide directions to a Maui beach by voice navigation, and features turn-by-turn driving directions. Search for a beach by activity or type, too.

Marti Kluth, communications and marketing director, Kupono Productions. Courtesy photo.

“We have utilized an inherent Google feature to create exact maps to the beaches, and have explored every beach on Maui personally to make sure our written details and directions match precisely with the driving directions,” says Marti Kluth, marketing and communications director at Kupono Productions.

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“When you’re in the car and use the driving directions feature, your phone becomes just like an in-car GPS system, and literally speaks the directions to you as you drive along the road. This is the most popular feature, followed by the beautiful HD video clips of each beach.”

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Kupono Productions was originally started in 2004 by Mark and Marti Kluth, and is located in Kihei. Although new to the app market, Mark Kluth, chief programmer, has been developing software and producing video projects on Maui for over 18 years.

Marti Kluth is the communications and marketing director, and also a well-known Maui pianist. The combination of their talents has enabled the Kluths to develop many successful video projects over the years, including videos for sporting events, from a recent triathlon up to musical stage productions. This is their first smartphone application product.

“The idea for The Beach Locator came when we realized they had lots of great footage of Maui, but no way to share it,” explains Kluth. “With the recent explosion of Android phones, we realized it was the perfect vehicle for merging this video and photo content with advanced smartphone features to provide people with a useful and functional app.”

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When asked about the Kupono Production team’s ability to push this product to market in two short months, Kluth said: “Confidence, enthusiasm and lots of communication have been our keys to success, especially in this down economy. We created a plan, worked that plan and [you] never give up working your plan. If something didn’t work, we never gave up. Just changed it and tried the new idea. You only lose when you quit. Always do the best you can, and keep striving for excellence.”

“Keep talking about your ideas. Get your team together and talk about your ideas as much as possible. Just discussing how you’re going to accomplish things already on your plate can lead to new and better ideas that could be easier to implement. Communication is so critical to working on successful teams.”

Available on Android first, Kupono Productions plans to have an iPhone app available very soon. Both free and pro versions are available on the Android Market and the Amazon AppStore. The free version of the app is supported by ads, and has some limitations of its features.

The app may be a rival to Hawaii Guide Me, which features a GPS-based guidance system to direct users to businesses and outdoor locations such as beaches, across the state of Hawaii. Its makers claim it is the most popular Hawaii-related app in the marketplace.

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