Here comes esaWATCH: all your navigation data…on your wrist

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esawatch-sailCentral navigation at your fingertips? It’s no longer utopia, with a smartwatch that can easily provide real-time boat data to evaluate sail adjustments in relation to targets and set polars.

multiplexer-nmea-senza-fili-55653-6022155THE SMARTWATCH FOR SAILORS
It is called esaWATCH and is the latest technology developed by AstraYacht for the sailing market. Waterproof and with a 1.54-inch display, it can connect wirelessly to onboard instrumentation, either through the Astra Gamp Wi-Fi multiplexer (pictured at side) or through an existing wifi router. It runs on a Li-ion-600 battery and is equipped with a 1.3 GHhz, Cortex A7 dual core processor.

THE FUNCTIONS.
The esaWATCH allows multiple page views; in addition, thanks to the internal GPS, you can independently perform the procedure to display speed and course with indications of variations for the best tacking and a good start. esaWATCH connects via Wi-Fi to your onboard instrumentation and via the preinstalled esa software (or an Android app of your choice) will continuously show you performance trends and any other useful information during a regatta.

NOT JUST SAILING
Its functions, of course, are not “reduced” to sailing use: it is a smartwatch complete with all the functions we use daily on our smartphones (phone calls, emails, messages, the Internet, and even a 5-megapixel camera). It costs 399 euros including VAT and you can buy it directly HERE (taking advantage, moreover, of a 50-euro discount on the purchase of a Wi-Fi controller).

hexawatch-collageTHE WORLD OF ONBOARD WI-FI GATEWAYS
As we saw earlier, for the smartwatch to be effective, a device is needed to connect wirelessly to the on-board instrumentation. You will need to take advantage of a Wi-Fi gateway (useful for connecting tablets and smartphones as well). Marine instruments have had a standardized communication protocol that allows them to interface, NMEA, for 20 years. Connecting the device to the instrumentation requires a transducer capable of receiving NMEA data and transmitting it over Wi-Fi. These devices have recently appeared on the market, all equipped with a standardized Wi-Fi transmission system. Creating a true on-board network, it is thanks to these Wi-Fi adapters that full integration between devices and on-board electronics takes place. There are several types of Wi-Fi adapters on the market. Multipliers are devices that can combine info from multiple NMEA 0183 devices, which convert traditional NMEA data by making it intelligible via TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) connection. Based on the multiplier model, the data stream can be transmitted in parallel to a computer via a USB connection, to other instruments via NMEA output ports, and to one or more portable devices via Wi-Fi. With the latest NMEA 2000 interface protocol, multipliers are no longer necessary: all data from connected instruments circulate in a network and are therefore automatically shared. It will be sufficient to connect a device to the network that can “read” this information and transmit it over Wi-Fi.

(cover photo taken from www.marabierto.eu)

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