We have been working with IntelliWeather Inc. who have been developing an exciting new marine-rated rugged and waterproof navigation tablet device. The device is now launched and we are delighted they chose to build in our Boat Beacon AIS – Marine Navigation app to provide a fully operational AIS collision avoidance system. Here are some more details on this exciting new device.
A new IP66 rated waterproof and dirtproof Android tablet for marine use provides an all-in-one solution at a fraction of the cost of traditional separate marine electronic devices. It provides navigation, AIS collision avoidance, weather radar, weather bulletins, communications, entertainment, and optional fish finder/sounding capability in one portable device.
The NAVIOTAB+ tablet has been introduced by IntelliWeather Inc., a provider of weather instrumentation, weather display systems, and weather content and comes pre-loaded with ready to run applications and navigation charts for the United States. The user has options to purchase additional navigation charts for most regions of the world provided by Navionics. In addition, in an agreement with PocketMariner of the United Kingdom, the NAVIOTAB+ comes ready to use with a fully operational AIS collision avoidance system. Making use of the built-in GPS and Internet connectivity capabilities to provide a real-time AIS radar like display of vessels near your position in highly trafficked ports and navigable waterways worldwide. This provides an extra level of accuracy and protection allowing you to “see and be seen” with or without MMSI registration.
The NAVIOTAB+ also comes equipped with free weather radar plots and weather bulletins in the USA, including marine weather bulletins. The data is provided free by NOAA and has no subscription requirements. All that is required for live weather radar data and live AIS is an Internet connection via the built-in 3G/4G data capability of the NAVIOTAB+. This can be via a SIM card and most any cellular data carrier that supports a “bring your own” plan for connectivity. Alternately, NAVIOTAB+ can communicate via any 3G/4G capable cellphone that is WiFi hotspot enabled, or any other WiFi Internet connection.
When equipped with a SIM card and cellular data/voice plan, users can initiate and receive telephone calls using the built-in speaker/microphone, earphone, or use a Bluetooth enabled speaker or headset like they would with any cell-phone. Web browsing, email, and MMS messaging are also standard features.
As an entertainment system, NAVIOTAB+ provides a built-in FM radio tuner as well as streaming music services such as Pandora Internet Radio (free) and Sirius XM radio (subscription). Both come installed and can be operated without external antennas. Movies can also be played from streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and others as well as locally stored files.
Unlike traditional marine electronics, the NAVIOTAB+ is not married to your boat, it can be taken “on the go” anywhere as a regular tablet and can also serve as an automobile navigation system via the built-in Google Maps application.
To round out the features, with the addition of a DEEPER Bluetooth enabled transducer, fish finding, water temperature, and depth sounding capability can be added to the NAVIOTAB+.
A powerful 10,000 mAH Lithium-Ion battery provides operation which can exceed 8 hours. The tablet can also be continuously charged/powered directly from your boat via the included Blue Sea Systems marine rated 12 volt cigarette lighter to USB power adapter and the included USB power cable.
Sporting a Quad-core 1.2 GHz A9 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8GB of FLASH storage, the NAVIOTAB+ is fast and responsive. Storage can be expanded up to an additional 32GB with insertion of a micro SD storage card. The bright 7″ screen is protected by toughened scratch resistant glass and can be seen in daylight, plus offers automatic dimming for night use. The built-in GPS receiver system does not require an external antenna, and is accurate to within 3 meters (10 feet).
Weighing just 1.36 pounds, NAVIOTAB+ is easily portable, and easy to secure to windshields, dashboards, and rails with a wide variety of readily available tablet mounting systems. It also comes with a palm rest/strap to enable portable use.
Tally up and compare the cost of all the separate marine rated devices that are replaced by the NAVIOTAB+ and you’ll understand why it makes the most sense for the recreational boater that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on getting their boat equipped. For the professional mariner, NAVIOTAB+ also makes a great backup system for your bridge, or as an emergency navigation system.
The NAVIOTAB+ has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $649.00.
Dealer inquiries are invited.
For further information these resources are available.
PRODUCT WEBSITE: http://naviotab.com
SPEC SHEET: http://naviotab.com/docs/NavioTab+_flyer.pdf
Here is how to import a list of Latitude and Longitude positions as a set of waypoints and route into SeaNav.
Step 1. Create a spreadsheet with the Latitudes and Longitudes either in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds, Degrees Minutes or Decimal degrees with a header line including latitude and longitude and a name field like so:-
|28 52.634 N||95 14.139W||Test 1|
|43 38 19.39||-116 14 28.86||SBH Buoy|
You can use any of the following formats for the coordinates
DMS, DM, Decimal Degrees etc.
DMS with no symbols (use – sign for West or South): 43 38 19.39
DM : 28 52.634
Decimal degrees : 43.63871944444445
I use google docs to create the spreadsheet and then download it as an excel spreadsheet to my desktop.
Step 2. Then upload the xlsx file to
https://www.earthpoint.us/ExcelToKml.aspx (you do not need a login to use it)
By tapping choose file and browsing on your desktop to where you downloaded the spreadsheet. You can check it will convert ok before clicking “View on Google Earth” by tapping the “View file on web page, check for errors” button.
Step 3. Convert the kml to a kmz file. Simply compress/zip the resulting kml file and rename the extension from .zip to .kmz.
e.g. ClubMarks.kml -zip-> ClubMarks.kml.zip -re-name-> ClubMarks.kmz
and then email the kmz to yourself so you can pick it up in email on your iPhone.
Open it in the iPhone email client. Here are screenshots of the final step of the import process:-
Open the email and tap the kmz icon.
Press the button at the top right to import the file.
Select your flavor of SeaNav (UK, US ) from the list of options to open the file with:-
And there are the three waypoints in SeaNav:-
Here is a set of Club marks for the Marina Del Rey Yacht club created using the technique above and displayed in google earth and in SeaNav
The newest member of the SeaNav app family brings our acclaimed marine charts to Mac – letting you explore and plan your boating trips on your Mac, then export your route to your iPhone for navigation while at sea – or plug in a GPS unit, and navigate with your laptop and our hi-res vector charts. SeaNav for Mac US has the latest NOAA ENC Digital Vector Marine charts covering the whole of the USA and Great Lakes, SeaNav for Mac UK has the latest UKHO UK and Ireland vector charts. SeaNav for Mac is exclusively available on the Mac App Store.
- Includes NOAA US Coastal, Great Lakes and USACE Inland Charts.
- Buoys, lights etc. are tappable with bearing and distance.
- Seamless fast panning and zooming across charts.
- Route Planning and tracking with Waypoints, SOG, COG, ETA etc.
- Charts work offline
- Route export, import and sharing (KML, share via disk or Dropbox)
- Live AIS Ship positions
- Share routes and tracks with SeaNav on iPhone and iPad
SeaNav uses the latest Digital Vector charts providing a wealth of benefits and advantages over raster charts. Buoys, Lights, Bridges, Depth Contours, Depth Soundings, Rocks, Anchorage areas, NOAA Weather Buoys etc. are all selectable and have real time distance, bearing and detail information. Turn off layers to de-clutter the display and only show what is important at the time. Tides, moon and sun times and weather are also all available at your fingertips.
SeaNav lets you measure distances and bearings and record waypoints on routes. When at sea, the app’s Sailing HUD shows your position, Course over ground (COG), Speed over ground (SOG), Vector Made Good (VMG), Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA), Distance and bearing to next Waypoint. Waypoint reached alerts, auto-routing to the next waypoint and collision alerts.
SeaNav is also available for iOS, so you can plan a route on your Mac and share the route with your iPhone or iPad – or take your iPhone sailing, then send your track back to your Mac.
Plug in your GPS unit and go – SeaNav works with Bluetooth and serial GPS units, and those which provide location or AIS service via TCP or UDP or TCP, including devices from Lowrance, Simrad and B&G GoFree. But GPS is only required for real time route navigation, you can plan routes without GPS then send them to your iPhone for use while at sea. SeaNav’s optional Real time AIS, Tides and Weather information require an active internet connection.
Your purchase of SeaNav includes 12 months free updates to the included US chart set.
SeaNav for Mac is exclusively available on the Mac App Store.
Navionics have launched a new version (7.0) of their Navionics Boating app which now includes free US NOAA vector charts. If you are boating in the US you can now get a well respected and functional marine navigation app on your iPad and iPhone without spending a cent. What are they up to? Why should you go anywhere else? How can they give away a full blown marine navigation app for free? We hope the following comparison and charts around San Francisco can help you decide which route to follow.
Here is the view of San Francisco from SeaNav within a 3 mile radius – the horizon for most leisure boat users (6NM x 6NM square) :-
and the same scale on Navionics Boating with their free NOAA charts :-
We zoomed in and eventually (at three times the scale) details appeared:-
Compare this with SeaNav at the same scale:-
We hope you will agree that its a lot less cluttered, has more relevant information and is a lot easier to view. Zoom in and more details and spot depths will be shown. You can also choose what level of detail to show in SeaNav.
Other key differences:-
SeaNav includes full live navigation features including COG, SOG, HDG, ETA, Waypoint distance and time, Cross Track error, Course and North up view etc. – it’s at least a $5 extra for Navionics and that doesn’t get you much of what SeaNav offers.
SeaNav includes Tides – Navionics Boating free doesn’t – you have to buy their USA chart set at $70.
SeaNav has a unique and highly recommended AR Camera view showing buoys, ships, landmarks etc. overlaid on the real time camera view.
SeaNav has free support for the amazing fully waterproof Pebble SmartWatch – forget a $500 Garmin Quatix!
SeaNav has live AIS Ship data overlay including collision detection. (via Boat Beacon).
SeaNav – buy once and runs at full HD on both your iPad and iPhone with no need to purchase another version.
SeaNav including full charts is just $19.99 in the US and £14.99 in the UK. See how this unfortunate user ended up paying over £70 ($100) for Navionics “Free”:-
And, SeaNav iPhone and iPad is now available for you to try for free. Click here to learn more.
(SeaNav is also available for Mac)
Boat Beacon now allows you to use AIS and GPS NMEA data directly from an AIS receiver and GPS on-board your boat via WiFi (over UDP or TCP) or Serial(USB). Boat Beacon seamlessly combines this with the AIS information it receives over the internet. If you travel outside mobile internet coverage or in an area where we don’t have good coverage from a local shore station, Boat Beacon can now continue to work displaying live ship data, calculating Closest Point of Approach (CPA) with alarms etc. from your VHF AIS receiver or AIS enabled VHF radio. On Android you can connect the NMEA serial or usb output from an AIS receiver or connect via WiFi. On iPhone you need to use WiFi. Here are some of the AIS receivers we have tested with Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, Digital Yacht, Comar NMEA-w2-Wifi, Weatherdock EasyAIS, Chetco Digital SeaSmart , dAISy AIS, Navico GoFree, Quark AIS (dual channel and usb stick) etc. More information on how to hook all this up is given below.
iPhone and Android AIS and GPS over WiFi.
If you already have AIS data available over Wifi on board then just enter the UDP port number (or ip address and port number for TCP) for the source and Boat Beacon will start using the data. With Navico GoFree and iPhone/iPad this is even more simple as there is a “GoFree” connect button in settings – just press and go. If you only have a usb or nmea output available you will also need a serial or usb to internet or Wifi adaptor. They range in price from $50 to $200. This is one example we have tested with at the $70 level – USR-TCP232-40
Here are some specific instructions for connecting Boat Beacon on Android to GoFree – http://pocketmariner.com/?p=1538
Android AIS NMEA 0183 and GPS over USB or serial
Boat Beacon will automatically launch and use local AIS data (and GPS if available) when a USB cable is plugged in between the AIS receiver and your Android device. You can set the USB mode on or off in settings in Boat Beacon.
For an Android NMEA 0183 connection you will need the following:-
You can get Boat Beacon from the iTunes or Android stores – Boat Beacon
Your chance to win an awesome package we have put together with our SeaNav app and B&G. SeaNav automatically hooks up with the B&G Zeus Touch over WiFi and uses the navigation data from their system (gps, course, wind, speed, lay lines, depth, AIS etc.) to display in SeaNav and on the Pebble SmartWatch with our free Pebble SeaNav app. Check out the competition details here
SeaNav now hooks up with Simrad, Lowrance and B&G MFD’s via WiFi GoFree and can use all the live navigation data including Position, AIS, Wind and Depth to display on your iPhone , iPad or Pebble Smartwatch wherever you are on your boat. We’ll be at the METS trade show in Amsterdam November 19th -21st . Come and see for yourself and try out the Pebble Smartwatch too – METS 2013 – stand(s):01.120, 01.147
We’ll be at the METS trade show in Amsterdam next week – November 19th -21st . Come and meet us, see our apps and try out the Pebble Smartwatch too – METS 2013 – Stand(s):01.120, 01.147
Augmented Reality View
Our unique AR view mode allows you to view buoys, lights, ships, waypoints and track overlaid on your iPhone or iPad live camera view. With “AR LockOn” you can select a target on the chart and then be guided to it in the AR camera view.
Find that ship on the horizon and instantly see its name, range and bearing.
Spot the next marker buoy.
- See your route and next waypoint
Tap the “eye” icon at the top left to switch AR mode on, then tilt your device up to see a live camera of the scene and boats around you. As you turn round and view buoys and ships, their name, range and bearing will popup when they are in the center of the view. You can also tap on them to get more information. Tilt back down to see the map view. Tapping the “eye” icon again turns AR mode off. You can pinch to zoom the map or camera views.
In AR mode our unique “AR Lock On” feature lets you select a ship or buoy on the map view and then easily locate it in the Camera view using a grey arrow to tell you which way to turn to spot it when its not directly in view. Your course (yellow line) and route to next waypoint (blue line) will also be visible overlayed on the camera view.
Ships are color coded based on their type e.g. Sailing boats are white, Pleasure Craft magenta, etc. See the Map Legend for full details. A vector points forward showing where each boat will be in 2 minutes time based on its current Speed and Course. Ships move in real time across the map and in the AR view. Tap on a ship or buoy to get more information and tap on the right arrow to get even more including speed, course, distance, bearing, picture etc. The horizon is set by the zoom scale of the chart view – e.g. zoom out on the chart view to see further out in the Augmented reality view.
AR photo from the Isle of Wight ferry.