New Products for 2017 at METS – Hall 1:434

Dear Partner,

Digital Yacht will introduce a range of new products for 2017 at this year’s METS exhibition (15-17 November 2016).  We’re also pleased to have been nominated for the prestigious DAME design award with our iKommunicate NMEA gateway product.  This product was just a concept this time last year, but thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign with 500 early adopters, we were able to bring it to market in record speed and iKommunicate is now selling well as an established product – what a difference a year makes!

We see interesting opportunities in new marine sectors for us – smaller outboard powered vessels, dingy racing and then at the opposite scale in the super-yacht sector.  We see portable solutions as a growth area and of course more consumer product integration as well as connectivity afloat.  You’ll also see more products under the Digital Deep Sea brand for the professional, commercial and military markets.  We’re also keen to compete aggressively on price – in particular, on entry level products where you’ll see attractive new price points.

METS will show you the flavour of our upcoming product offerings for 2017.  We’re expanding our AIS product range with the introduction of Nomad – a portable Class B AIS transponder designed to appeal to charter and boat rental users, delivery skippers, professional users and also boat owners who don’t want the expense and complexity of a dedicated installation.

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WindSense is a new wireless wind system which will form part of an expanding range of sensors we offer including hi-performance GPS and compass units.

Plus lots of development of the iKommunicate platform – we’re already able to use low cost Kindles as a marine instrument, iKommunicate as a document server for handbooks and you’ll see some amazing engine monitoring and fuel economy apps.

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We all look forward to seeing you at METS 2016 – Hall 1:434

the Digital Yacht team

TEL + 44 1179 55 44 74  US 978 277 1234

DAME Nomination for iKommunicate

We’re delighted that iKommunicate has been nominated for the prestigious DAME award at this years METS exhibition

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iKommunicate is Digital Yacht’s NMEA to Signal K gateway which brings the internet of things to anything afloat and will introduce a new generation of interfacing and applications to the marine electronic’s world.

Things are changing in the world of marine electronic interfacing with the introduction of a new open source platform called Signal K. It’s been developing quietly over the past few years by a group of enthusiastic and very bright  developers and boaters and is now ready for wide scale implementation. The name comes from the original Signal K (kilo) flag which indicates “I want to communicate”!

Signal K aims to be the next generation solution for marine data exchange. It is intended to be used not only for communication between instruments and sensors on board a single vessel, but also to allow for sharing of data between multiple boats, aids to navigation, ports, marinas, etc. It is designed to be easily implemented by web and mobile applications and to connect boats and ships to the Internet of Things Afloat.

Many of you will be familiar with NMEA data standards which have been prevalent over the past 30 years.  While reliable and proven, they are slow and also expensive to develop for as there are legal, certification and documentation costs.  These standards were developed when the instruments on the average boat were much simpler and less capable. Today’s world is a lot more connected and there are huge benefits of tablet, PC and smartphone integration for data displays, applications, sharing and control. However, we don’t see the NMEA standard disappearing over night but equally a new format is needed for the next advance in applications.  In fact, the combination of NMEA and Signal K on board is the best technical opportunity.  That’s where iKommunicate comes in – a full featured NMEA to Signal K gateway and server allowing existing marine electronics to integrate with Signal K apps.

Like any new standard, it would take early adopters and lots of hard work to flourish but thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in the back end of 2015, iKommunicate was created and is now in production.  Thanks to nearly 500 early backers, iKommunicate was designed and manufactured.  Now everyone can now start to take advantage of next generation interfacing.

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iKommunicate has inputs for both NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 so it will work with the latest generation of marine instruments as well as legacy systems.  You can now integrate your older marine electronic equipment to the next generation of interfacing with tablets, PC and other devices.  To start sharing data, it’s designed to connect to a router and to complement iKommunicate, Digital Yacht have introduced iKConnect – a compact wifi router with easy integration for iKommunicate as well as a WAN port for internet connectivity.

Out of the box, iKommunicate can do some really clever things

  • Converts NMEA0183 and NMEA2000 to the new Signal K Open Data format
  • Includes two Web Apps; iKompass and Instrument Panel so that you can look at the Signal K data
  • Re-transmits all of the NMEA0183 and some of the NMEA2000 data it receives in to TCP or UDP network data
  • Can host other Web Apps and documents (PDFs, JPGs, etc.) on its 8GB micro SD Card

With data in Signal K format, it becomes incredibly easy to write apps to make boating more fun, affordable and safe.  We’ve produced a simple SDK at our www.ikommunicate.com site to help budding developers. Popular apps could include

  • Logging – log your engine data and track any changes over time – a gradually rising water or oil  temperature can be diagnosed prior to becoming an expensive problem
  • Twitter and Facebook integration – create your own Facebook logbook and share your boating experience with friends. Auto tweet your boats position for an easy tracking solution
  • Integrate with hobby hardware platforms like Raspberry Pi to create a custom alarm or monitoring platform for you boat

In fact, the sky is the limit!  You can also download the iKommunicate manual from HERE

Lots of major app developers are starting to interface with Signal K and iKommunicate’s support of NMEA data over TCP and UDP connections makes it compatible with lots of older apps too.

iKommunicate is now available to order.  You can order NOW

Dealers, marine electronic installers and boat builders should read ouriKommunicate Guide HERE

Welcome to next generation interfacing for everything afloat and come and see us at METS Hall1:434

Read anything good lately ?

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Some books you just cannot put down and we are hoping that our new Signal K App for the Kindle will have the same effect. With their perfect sunlight readability, low price and extremely large user base, we thought an Amazon Kindle would make a great low power instrument display for a boat.

Every Kindle has an “Experimental Web Browser”, which although pretty poor for normal web browsing, does support Javascript which is the language that most modern HTML5 web pages use. After some positive initial tests to see if it would be good enough for our needs, Digital Yacht developed a simple Instrument Display Web App that would read Signal K data from our new iKommunicate gateway and display it on your Kindle.

Every second, the App “grabs” the latest instrument data from iKommunicate, which is connected to the boat’s NMEA2000 or NMEA0183 networks and displays it as either individual “jumbo” displays or a dual line or quad view (see image) display.

In keeping with the “Open Source” nature of Signal K and to encourage other developers to take what we have done and expand on it, we are releasing the source code of the Kindle Web App on our iKommunicate GitHub pages. For existing iKommunicate users, who would like to use this new Kindle App, you can download the new SD Card image and install it following the instructions here.

NOTEBy default a Kindle will check the wireless network it is connected to see if it has an internet connection and if it does not, it will disconnect from the wireless network. This is not great behaviour on a boat that may or may not be connected to the internet and so a little tweak needs to be made to the Kindle to disable this internet check.

Simply connect your Kindle to your computer using a Micro USB Cable and it will appear as a USB Disk Drive (mass storage device). Then you need to create a file in the USB root folder called WIFI_NO_NET_PROBE which does not need a file extension and can be a completely empty file, it just needs to be in this folder, as shown below.

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Once you have copied the file on to your Kindle, restart the device and it will now connect to your wireless network even if there is no internet connection.

 

Yacht Racing with Signal K

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It was great to meet JC and Ric from RaceGeek yesterday at the Southampton Boat Show. Tucked away on stand J328, behind the Furuno Stand, this was their first time at Southampton and they were showing off their brand new D10 Mast display for racing yachts. What makes this new product of particular interest to Digital Yacht, is that the team at RaceGeek have made their D10 display Signal K compatible, making it the perfect display for connecting to our own iKommunicate.

Whether you are an out and out yacht racer or just a cruising yachtsman who likes to sail in the most efficient and effective way, a clear mast display like the D10 is an important tool and connected to our iKommunicate, providing NMEA0183 and NMEA2000 data via the new open source Signal K data format, it is a winning combination.

For more information on the D10 mast display please visit http://racegeek.ie/

Digital Sneak Peek – Southampton Boat Show 2016 – Stand J346

The Southampton Boatshow runs from 16-25th September and Digital Yacht will be exhibiting on stand J346 in the heart of the electronics area together with our reseller Cactus

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We’ve our biggest ever selection of award winning AIS products with amazing deals – Class B transponders complete with all antennas for under £400 including VAT and a FREE AIS Lifeguard MOB alarm with our best selling AIT3000 Nucleus Class A AIS – that’s a saving of over £250

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Plus there’s a great deal on our new WL70R hi power wifi system for reliable internet access afloat

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There will also be new products too – like iKommunicate, our new next generation interface for ANY marine electronics system now commercially available following a successful Kickstarter crowd funded development project.  Start connecting your boat to the internet of things and get easy access to NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 data thanks to the new Signal K open interfacing standard – you can find out more at http://www.ikommunicate.com

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Finally we’ve some interesting instrument developments with our new wireless wind system, WindSense making its debut at the show and here’s a sneak peek of another development – instrument data on your Kindle.  These low cost, high bright sunlight readable displays make a great read for any boater – and now with your real time boat data too!  Find out more at the show…

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Remember – Stand J346 – we look forward to seeing you there.

The Digital Yacht team

What a Difference a Year Makes

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This morning we released a new firmware update and SD Card image for our successful iKommunicate product. One of the improvements in this update was NMEA2000 optimisation to pass the Certification Testing that all NMEA2000 certified products need to complete.

We really wanted to have iKommunicate certified in time for the 2016 NMEA Conference later this month in Naples FL (20-22 September), as it will be exactly one year since we showed our “Proof of Concept” at last year’s conference. We have come a long way, since then, with a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, over 1000 units shipped and now our fourth software revision.

iKommunicate really is the perfect accessory for any boat with an NMEA network onboard. Whether connected to a Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad, Furuno, etc. system, iKommunicate will convert the NMEA2000 or NMEA0183 data and make it accessible in your web browser, or mobile App. Already compatible with the most popular navigation software; MaxSea, RosePoint, Nobeltec, OpenCPN, etc. and mobile Apps; iNavX, iSailor, TimeZero, etc. via TCP/UDP data connection, iKommunicate will also power the next generation of Signal K apps; NMEARemote, ActiveCapt, OceanIX, etc.

Developers interested in supporting Signal K, should have a look at our iKommunicate SDK, to which we have now added some new example apps, with fully documented source code, to help you get up and running as quickly as possible.

New Update to NMEARemote

NMEA Remote + iKommunicate

Today Zapf Software, the developer of the very popular NMEA Remote App for Apple iOS devices, released an update that significantly improves support for our iKommunicate Signal K gateway.

As well as natively supporting the Signal K delta messages over a wireless high speed websocket connection, NMEA Remote now lists iKommunicate as one of the data sources. Select iKommunicate from the list, click enable and then the magic of Apple’s Bonjour Discovery service, finds iKommunicate on your network, connects to it automatically and starts displaying the data on a series of configurable digital and analogue displays.

NMEA Remote will not only display traditional instrument and GPS data, it will also display Engine data from one or more engines, assuming you have them connected to iKommunicate via the NMEA2000 network.

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To show just how easy it is to setup NMEA Remote with iKommunicate, we have produced a short video which you can view by clicking here.

After a successful Kickstarter Campaign, iKommunicate is now available through our normal distribution and is priced at $299.95 USD, £220 GBP or €315 EURO (excluding local Taxes) and more information can be found at http://ikommunicate.com while NMEA Remote is available from the Apple App Store.