Pocket Mariner’s GoFree-enabled, Apple Watch-integrated SeaNav AR app brings to your wrist live course, layline and buoy information to aid navigation, as well as AIS targets and Simrad, Lowrance and B&G waypoints.
“So you can be anywhere on your boat, up to 10 meters away, and just glance at your wrist and see your speed, course, distance to next waypoint, time to next waypoint and AIS targets, among other things,” explains Steve Bennett, CEO of Pocket Mariner, developer of the SeaNav AR app. “It gives you more leisure time, so you can relax on your boat without having to be in front of your instruments the whole time.”
SeaNav’s Apple Watch integration and augmented reality camera view can use a GoFree wireless connection to pull info from Simrad NSS/NSO evo2, Lowrance HDS Gen2 and Gen3, and B&G Zeus2 multifunction displays. GoFree’s open-development platform allows 3rd parties like SeaNav and others to develop apps to make the most of wireless connectivity to Simrad, Lowrance and B&G units.
“From a developer point of view, what was pleasing for us is that GoFree uses a standard method of giving us discovery – the Bonjour protocol – so there’s existing code around to implement it very quickly,” Bennett says. “So GoFree makes it very simple to actually find your devices and get information from them.”
When there’s a GoFree server in your vessel’s network, the SeaNav AR app can find it and read navigation data from it. “That gave us the advantage that we could get that extra navigation information that we can’t get on the iPad or iPhone itself,” Bennett says. “With GoFree’s auto discovery, you can just hit three buttons in our app and get what you need.”
For example, Bennett says, you can tap on buoys and AIS targets for tmore info, as well as transmit info like wind, SailSteer and countdown timer alarms. There are safety benefits as well.
“Quite often, you don’t hear an alarm unless you’re actually right next to the instrument,” Bennett explains. “So if you’re short-handed, or at the front of the boat dealing with something and not near your instruments, and there’s a boat on collision course with you, you’ll be told – you’ll get a vibration and a ding, and you’ll know that there’s something you need to pay attention to.”