Breakthrough products for digital sailors

by Adrian on November 20, 2013

Everyone with a modern Simrad, Lowrance or B&G touch screen plotter and an iPhone, I’d urge you to check out the SeaNav AR app.


I’ve just seen this app in action at the METS show in Amsterdam and talked with the developer. It looks really great and has the potential to really change digital navigation (with all the usual modern-world caveats of course).

As the name suggests, it is an AR (Augmented Reality) app for sailors, doing something I’ve been wishing for and hoping someone would develop for ages.

Quite simply, you start the app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, point it at the sea/horizon and it’ll start the camera and overlay the scene with information about what you can see.

AR view

Point it at a bouy and it’ll tell you it’s name and it’s distance. Point it down your track and it’ll show you waypoints, a compass reticule with your heading, wind information, your course and (depending on plotter and other equipment), COG, tacking point and the tracks of AIS targets.

How often have you been scanning the horizon trying to identify a bouy in an unknown harbour (more caveats again)? How cool would it be to be able to point your phone at a ship and just see it’s name? How about seeing your COG to visualise your drift?

This is the first step in combining the power of your plotter, your instruments, your location and your movements to show complete information about you’re whereabouts and what’s around you.

The app also turns the pebble watch, into a wrist mounted chart plotter, ais display and multi-function instrument repeater.

The app currently comes in versions that contain charts of the entire UK and Ireland or the entire US.

It uses Navico’s GoFree back end to obtain instrument, environmental and AIS data over wifi, so to get the full experience, it’s best you have the latest Simrad NSS, B&G Zeus or Lowrance plotters and a GoFree wifi setup.

I’ll post a full review soon, but this is pretty exciting stuff for us digital sailors.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dan Hacking November 20, 2013 at 19:36

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