With this little gadget, your smartphone becomes a chartplotter

The complete Orca system - Orca Core, Smartphone App and Orca Display 2
The complete Orca system – Orca Core, Smartphone App and Orca Display 2

Orca is a Norwegian company that has developed a truly innovative navigation system that now includes the territory of Italy among its maps. It all revolves around the proprietary smartphone application, which can be downloaded for free and can be expanded in its functions with very interesting additional paid elements.

The application for smartphones and tablets

The application
Orca
– available for free in the App Store and Google Play – is very intuitive and easy to set up. In just a few steps, after entering your vessel’s data, you are ready to use the many functions within it. From the interface, waypoints can be set and data and forecasts on weather, waves, and tides for the entire area covered by the manufacturer can be displayed. Also from the app, it is possible to search for marinas and buoy fields nearby or along the predetermined route, save routes and locations, and set an alert area to increase safety at anchorage. At the time of its launch in 2021, Orca covered the Northern European area, while it now covers almost 100 percent of Europe, the United States, and New Zealand, with full coverage of Italy. By integrating proprietary data with third-party data, Orca will reach 100 percent coverage by 2024.

With Orca Core, the smartphone becomes a complete chartplotter

Purchasing the hardware
Orca Core
for 449 euros you get full integration between boat and app, with the ability to connect all in on-board sensors and have them communicate wirelessly with the Orca app. The hardware takes up very little space (11.8 x 11.8 cm and 35 cm high) integrates several sensors inside, such as a very accurate GPS and compass, and is able to communicate with transducers, batteries, tanks, AIS, engine, anemometers, and all on-board sensors with NMEA 2000 connection. This makes it possible to make the Orca app a full-fledged chartplotter that can also control the autopilot.

How Orca improves your sailing performance

Orca analyzes navigational performance moment by moment and enables accurate data and optimal lines for navigation to be derived. Taking advantage of the built-in 100Hz motion processor that calculates and compensates for true wind and apparent wind, also based on sea conditions and sail plan, Orca returns advanced and highly accurate data.
Orca Core
can connect to 5 devices at the same time, smartphones and tablets, and allows you to keep an eye on navigation data at all times, with the ability to control the autopilot, set waypoints, and change direction from anywhere on the boat. All devices synchronize with each other even without an internet connection if they are connected to the
Orca Core
, but taking advantage of the network connection also unlocks other functions. For example, the Hybrid AIS function that integrates onboard AIS data with online data, expanding the range and providing photos and detailed information about vessels and destinations.

Orca Core: There is also the additional display

As we have seen,
Orca Core
is 100 percent compatible with smartphones and tablets thanks to the proprietary application, but for those who want it, a display is also available at the price of 999 euros. It is a Lumen HDX display with 1000 nits brightness and a contrast ratio of 1200:1. This allows
Display 2
to deliver sharp images, with clear and sharp differences between light and dark, in sunlight, from any viewing angle and even while wearing polarized lenses. The screen has a diagonal size of 10 inches and a resolution of 220 ppi 1920X1080. An 8-core CPU and 4-core GPU accompany the 4 GB of RAM, offering excellent performance, managing to operate for up to 8 consecutive hours even at 55° temperatures. The display has Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity and 25W wireless charging; other applications such as the Chrome browser and Netflix are also installed inside.

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