As reported on our sister site, uk.boats.com, the innovative Bristol-based electronics company Digital Yacht recently won the 2011 DAME Award for marine electronics at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam. The product is called iAIS. It's a dual-channel black-box AIS (Automatic Identification System) receiver that outputs data wirelessly to iPhones and iPads via the 802.11 wireless frequency. The accompanying app is a free download at Apple's iTunes store.

Digital Yacht's iAIS receiver next to an iPad. It's a wireless interface that requires no Internet connection.

Digital Yacht's iAIS receiver next to an iPad. It's a wireless interface that requires no Internet connection.



This is a screen grab from an iPhone. The selected target pops up a wealth of data -- Lat/Lon, heading, COG/SOG, and MMSI number.

This is a screen grab from an iPhone. The selected target pops up a wealth of data -- Lat/Lon, heading, COG/SOG, and MMSI number.



One of the nice things about iAIS is that it can also pull in NMEA data from the boat's instrumentation -- GPS/plotter, depth, boatspeed, etc. None of these functions requires an Internet connection, so iAIS will work offshore.

This is a big step toward integrating marine electronics with everyday shoreside devices and accepted, intuitive user interfaces. That's how awards are won.

Digital Yacht has a number of dealers in the U.S., including Defender, where the iAIS black box is currently selling for $495.

-- Doug Logan

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