CHESTERTOWN - While over the last decade many claimed the digital age would spark a proliferation of Internet-based work in the Adirondacks, that has yet to materialize.
A Chestertown resident, however, has blazed a trail in providing an example of how computer-based work can flourish here and have its impact internationally.
Curt Austin of Chestertown has developed the Bike Calculator "App" for the iPhone. His application went on-line Dec. 15, and compliments his existing offering at bikecalculator.com.
Austin's app calculates speed, power, calories consumed and trip length based on distance, elevation changes, wind, and type of handlebars, rolling resistance and other technical aspects of the bike in question.
Within only several days of its launch, 160 people worldwide downloaded Austin's iPhone app, which has been rated an enviable 4+ stars by its users.
Austin programmed the app by himself here in Chestertown, he said. This is in contrast to most apps that are developed by teams of programmers. To date, more than 300,000 iPhone apps have been developed.
"I've learned how to program, and to do it at my age is pretty good," Austin said, noting he is a bicycling enthusiast, citing the activity as a way to renew youthful vitality through aerobic health and strength training.
Austin's Bike Calculator app is free, and it's supported by income from advertising - When someone activates an advertising link on their iPhone, Austin earns $1.
Austin said that as of Dec. 23, he earned $10 from his app, a sum that may increase exponentially when thousands end up downloading his program.
"My expectation is for the app to make me coffee money," Austin said with a smile.
Austin is a former metallurgical engineer for General Electric, concocting metals primarily for use in jet engines.
He retired several years ago to live in Chestertown, and he and his wife Nancy operate Austin Image Photography, an enterprise which provides portrait, wedding, and commercial photography services for residents of the Adirondacks and beyond. His work can be seen at www.austinimage.com.