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Author Topic:   RAYMARINE Announces Integration With Hand-held Devices
jimh posted 05-05-2012 05:10 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
RAYMARINE have recently announced that their latest multi-function display (MFD) and navigation devices will now include the option to integrate with wireless handheld devices using the Apple iOS, including Apple iPads and Apple iPhones, and with Android devices. A presentation announcing these new features is available in PDF form from: 2012_MFD_Mobile_Apps_Launch.pdf

The integration permits the Apple iOS or Android device to perform three levels of integration:

--act as a remote duplicate of the MFD device screen; this is offered in a free application called RayViewer;

--act as remote control of the MFD device by a simulation of its control knobs and switches; this is offered in a $30 application called RayRemote; and,

--act as a duplicate of the touch screen of the MFD device, providing the same touch screen control interface; this is offered in a $50 application called RayControl.

As with all Apple iOS application, the Raymarine applications will be available for purchase, download, and installation on the Apple iTunes store; Android device applications are available from the Android Toy store.

The Raymarine MFD devices link to the Apple iOS and Android devices using WiFi. These newer Raymarine MFD devices have a built-in WiFi access point for bonding with the Apple iOS and Android devices.

Raymarine seems to be on the leading edge of integration of the main navigation device or multi-function device hardware with Apple iOS devices. Many boaters already own Apple iOS or Android devices and have them aboard their small boats. This new functionality in Raymarine navigation hardware will permit hand-held Apple iOS devices to be used as an adjunct to the main multi-function device display screen.

jimh posted 05-05-2012 05:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Even at the simplest level using the free RayViewer application, this new feature in the Raymarine multi-function display devices will turn an iPad or Android tablet into a second display screen. This could be very handy, even on a small boat. An Apple iPad could become a hand-held remote SONAR screen or remote chart plotter display, and could be used anywhere on the boat.

The Raymarine devices apparently already contained all the necessary hardware to perform this function by inclusion of the WiFi access point. The functionality appears to be added entirely in the operating systems software of the Raymarine device. This is a marvelous example of how a software upgrade can bring an entirely new feature to a device.

20dauntless posted 05-10-2012 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
This is a great development, although I would have hoped that Raymarine would offer the apps for free after charging customers thousands for their MFD's. Navico, Garmin, and Furuno are all moving in this direction as well, and it will be interesting to see how the technology matures.

I'm spending all my boat bucks on taking the boat to Alaska this summer, but I'll probably be in the market for a new MFD and radar in the next few years. What I'd really like to see is a way to cut out the MFD entirely and replace it with a couple of iPads and a black box that integrates all the NMEA and radar data and streams it to all sorts of devices wirelessly. The technology is nearly available, but the MFD manufacturers probably don't want to shoot themselves in the foot by enabling customers to skip over their products.

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