Marine Navigation and Monitoring Apps Now Work Off-Board Using New HelmSmart.net Cloud Base TCP Data Service

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Cloud based data service allows popular marine applications to access vessel data directly over any internet connection

Marine apps like iNavX can now work both on-board and off-board, anywhere via the internet

For the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Chetco Digital Instruments (booth 4188) is introducing a new extension to it’s HelmSmart.net Cloud data service that allows third party apps to directly connect to a vessel’s sensor network from any internet location. The Cloud Base TCP Server receives data from on-board SeaSmart adapters over standard internet connections and forwards to compatible apps like iNavX and NMEARemote that already support the PushSmart™ protocol. Now, instead of using these popular marine apps only on-board, they can be used remotely to monitor and track vessel systems from anywhere.

HelmSmart.net offers direct communication links with vessel sensor and instrument systems by leveraging already installed networks via its SeaSmart Gateways and provides internet access using established on-board equipment. Data is uploaded directly to HelmSmart.net Cloud servers for storage and retrieval using advanced search engine technology and Web APIs. With HelmSmart.net, clients can access both stored and live data for charting, mapping, tracking, graphs, alerts, and reports.

The new cloud base TCP Service allows HelmSmart™ clients to register their iOS devices to receive data directly from installed SeaSmart adapters. SeaSmart™ will convert analog sensors, NMEA 0183, or NMEA 2000 networked sensors to PushSmart™ protocol and transmit to HelmSmart™ for storage in a searchable data base. When a client TCP connection is requested by the application such as iNavX™, the database is searched and matching device results are returned instantly. Since client applications already support TCP connection to on-board devices, the new cloud-base service is seamless and requires no modification or upgrade to take advantage of the 24/7 up time, full data storage, and near global access.

In addition to native application support, the new cloud base TCP server also allows bridging of vessel data networks over remote internet connections. Since SeaSmart adapters can act as both a TCP Client and TCP Server, vessels can send NMEA 2000 network sensor data to the cloud server and SeaSmart adapters automatically pull it back down and retransmit on a separate NMEA 2000 network - thus creating a network bridge with global reach. Therefore one vessel can monitor another vessel’s NMEA 2000 data using the same on-board equipment and displays already used for its own systems.

“Vessel data bridging is a popular topic and until now has been hard to implement” said Joe Burke, CTO for Chetco Digital Instruments. “With internet services now readily available via cell sites, long range WiFi, and satellite devices, we can bridge data with a very small equipment footprint ”, Burke added. Vessel data bridging allows a remote site to see exactly what is in on-board a vessel’s data network such as position, weather, course/speed, mechanical systems, fluid tanks, water depth, and more. In some cases such as in competitive racing, it is possible to eliminate much of the monitoring equipment on-board the race platform and move it off remotely to a tender vessel to increase performance. In another example, a commercial fishing operation can track scout vessels from a central location such as a processing vessel.

HelmSmart™ is designed to simplify access to vessel network data by creating a common format for all sensors like fluid tanks, batteries, bilge levels, engines, weather, compass, sonar and more. Existing networks are supported including Ethernet, CAN Bus (J19), Wi-Fi, NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183. SeaSmart Gateways provide the physical interface from vessel to cloud while HelmSmart™ provides the client visual interface. HelmSmart is compatible with other vendor protocols and equipment including Garmin, Navico (Lowrance/Simrad/B&G), Raymarine, Humminbird, Maretron, and Actisense. Once data reaches the HelmSmart cloud, it does not matter where it came from.

All that is required to start using the HelmSmart™ service is a SeaSmart Gateway and internet connection. SeaSmart adapters can access the internet directly via WiFi hotspots, Cellular networks, cable modems, and Ethernet. If no connection is available, SeaSmart will record data to local SD memory and can be later uploaded to the HelmSmart servers using built-in browser interface. The SD memory cards can hold over a years’ worth of data and can be removed for manual upload. Data can be also uploaded directly from any PC/Laptop with an internet connection and network gateway such as a NMEA 2000 to USB adapter from Chetco Digital or Active Research. SeaGauge products are also available to convert up 16 sensor outputs directly to PushSmart™ Protocol and send directly to HelmSmart servers without requiring a full on-board network.

For further information on HelmSmart visit http://www.HelmSmart.com. SeaSmart.net products are available directly on-line at http://www.seasmart.net and http://www.digitalmarinegauges.com. Pricing starts at $395 for USB/Serial and $495 for the basic NMEA 2000. Volume and kit pricing is available.

For more information on SeaSmart.Net™ visit http://www.seasmart.net. For SeaGauge™, and other Chetco Digital Instruments products, and where to buy, see our web site at http://www.digitalmarinegauges.com.
For iNavX, please visit http://www.gpsnavx.com

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JOE BURKE

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