Wayfinder: artificial intelligence in charge of your boat

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Artificial intelligence helped the New Zealanders win the last America’s Cup, and now, thanks to Wayfinder, it is ready to take the helm of cruising boats. iNav4U introduces to the public the first intelligent navigation system that actively and continuously monitors data and alerts us on what to do when we are boating.

The intelligent on-board computer that advises you on maneuvering on board
The intelligent on-board computer that advises you on maneuvering on board

Wayfinder the onboard computer with artificial intelligence

Wayfinder is an automated situational awareness system that actively and continuously monitors data from on-board instrumentation. It senses and understands how events and one’s actions will impact the near future. The Wayfinder system sends real-time notifications, alerts and alarms to any compatible smart device, phone, monitor or in-vehicle display.

“The future of marine electronics is here, a single intelligent primary navigation system to interact with everything and everyone on a boat in a smart and meaningful way,” said Olivier Hendrikx, CEO of iNav4U. “Wayfinder does this by acting as an on-board computer by recording and calculating sensor data, performance, conditions and communications during navigation.”

A virtual skipper

Leading companies in the marine electronics market, such as Raymarine, Navico, Garmin and Furuno, offer marine instruments and multifunctional displays that show data such as wind speed, speed over water, depth, etc. However, the data displayed on these instruments still needs to be interpreted by humans, leaving a potentially significant margin for error in on-board maneuvers. Wayfinder’s system, modeled after modern aircraft flight systems, collects and computes data into meaningful information with real-time notifications, alerts, alarms, voice instructions, and suggestions for actions or improvements. One system to monitor the whole boat at a glance.


How Wayfinder works

The Wayfinder system works on iPad, iNav4U waterproof tablet or any other monitor. The product is designed to work offline but is at its best when connected to the Internet. Wayfinder can communicate, send SMS or e-mail alerts, and notify you of available software updates. It can also automatically back up settings data, receive new tide and weather data, and directly access iNav4U’s customer support team remotely.

The main navigation display

All navigation-related data and notifications are shown in one display. Not sure what to do? Wayfinder with a few simple touches (the whole interface is interactive) advises you on maneuvers to do on board. In addition, Wayfinder continuously monitors the quality of information provided by on-board sensors to ensure that you are aware of any disruptions or malfunctions and can act accordingly before it becomes a problem.

The Wayfinder interface
The Wayfinder interface

The heart of Wayfinder

Wayfinder’s server has an expected operational life of more than 200,000 hours or 22 years of operation. Designed to withstand large temperature changes, it is perfect for worldwide navigation. The absence of moving parts such as fans or mechanical hard drives makes it ideal for installation aboard a boat. Power consumption is minimal compared to computing power. It comes with numerous expansion slots and is ready for direct connection to on-board instruments and sensors.

Wayfinder's server
Wayfinder’s server

How much does it cost?

The server costs $1680 and is up for pre-order on the iNav4U website. Includes 6 months of iNav Care, a subscription that offers premium support service and text and e-mail alerts when problems or malfunctions occur (then $360 per year). By the end of the year it should also be available in Italian.

James Barbaro

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