Day One: I’m off to the Miami Beach Convention Center for my first take on the show. I’ve got a couple of hours to kill before the Marine Marketers of America meeting.
Making my way through the acres of huge outboards and insane power boats is always a kick. It’s amazing that folks are still buying these behemoths. Here’s a look at a new Cigarette boat. It’s HUGE! I guess it looks better on its side.
On my tour of the latest and greatest gear and tech goodies, I came across Navionics new version of their popular iPhone Charting app. I got the quick tour from Shawn Ruge (Product Mgr) and we did a side-by-side comparison using my older 3G and his newest 3GS. There are some significant changes and all for the better. They finally added all the things that they should have put into the first version,but didn’t, in their infinite wisdom. Let’s be honest, the first app had issues; charts took forever to load and the refresh time was l-o-o-o-n-g! Good news!
“Recent recipient of the 2009 NMMA Innovation Award at MAATS, Navionics mobile is ideal for boaters, fisherman and watersports enthusiasts of all kinds. You can plan your on-the-water adventures anytime and anywhere….check tides, set your routes and markers, and search marinas. While on the water track your navigation, capture geotagged pictures, and create a virtual travelogue of your entire trip that you can share with your friends and family on Facebook. For those friends not yet on Facebook, simply email them your adventure log and let them view it overlaid on Google Earth and Google Maps”
The new version, which will be out sometime this year, has all the right bells and whistles. There’s the fact that you can download maps on the fly and that they now come with Google Earth overlays – Very Cool! And, they’ve added features to the settings that I really like: the Search function includes Lat/Long look up.
Use the handy scroll wheel to enter your lat and long and it magically appears on the Map. US Maps are still free downloads too.
Next, I dropped by the new Raymarine area. These guys have taken Trade Show Displays to an art form. They had a spectacular Virtual Sea Trial set up complete with simulated ships helm, the kind you’d find at the STAR Center’s Simulator! It did everything but what it did best was to show off their new e-Series Touchscreen technology. The new E-Series Widescreen multifunction displays with HybridTouch technology. The E-Serries is the most advanced and easy-to-use multifunction displays, and the next chapter in Raymarine navigation technology.
Speaking with John Hartnett (OEM Accts Mgr), I found out how useful this new touchscreen can be, even on a bouncy boat. You can lock the screen so that you don’t accidentally hit something. You can change the format and layout of any screen in the customization area.
Check it out at the Show.
More to come…