29 Mar One step back, one giant leap forward
The technical redesign of SAILMON products
In my last blog #3, I described how by the end of 2014 the decision was taken to completely redesign our existing range of hardware and software products. During the next 18 months to follow, Enno, Kalle and Bernard worked very hard to accomplish this huge task. They touched every programming line, every chip, every circuit, every part….. redid just everything.
And in mid 2016, for the first time in SAILMON history, we proudly and confidentially could state that from now on all SAILMON hardware and software is -and will be- of the best top top top quality (we think is) possible. A standard unusually high for this industry – but pretty normal in many others
And the team did even more…….
I was seriously impressed by the way the redesign project was executed – and completed within 18 months. Given the high quality end result, our limited resources and the challenges the team faced, quite an achievement.
I was even more impressed when I learned the team at the same time developed 2 other new products!!
– A complete new -and highly innovative- product! In August 2016 SAILMON had designed and produced the first prototypes of the new Model E4;
– On top of that, the SAILMON App (idea stolen from the Tesla App – as Elon Musk is our favorite inspirator!) we had talked about quite a bit, was already under development and Kalle and Enno let me have a sneak preview of some quite impressive beta versions of the Sailmon App.
During the summer of 2016, I gradually realised this was really cool and state-of-the-art stuff. We had a great and very capable team here. Within 18 months, the team (re)designed and developed marine equipment products with specifications and functionalities never seen in this industry before, and not even remotely matched by any competition to date. And then, Kalle and Enno explained me this was only the beginning……
Since the summer of 2016, Kalle and Enno have shown me many more innovations. I was impressed. The Model E4 platform supports all of the fun stuff described below:
1) I mentioned the SAILMON App. With this App anyone, being granted access to the boat data by the owner, can monitor on a smartphone or tablet, on board or remotely** the following data:
– Live numbers: not only COG, GPS speed, location and tracking on Maps, but also data regarding wind (like TWS, AWS, TWD), Boat Speed in the water, depth, in fact all data available on board are available on your smartphone or tablet. On board, at home, at work: everywhere;
– Real time pictures from the boat, with the selected numbers displayed in the picture at the moment the picture was taken.
**the remote functionality in the SAILMON App will be officially released mid 2017
2) Currently under development: software supported installation and calibration. A bit like SONOS: software that behaves like an interactive guide. This is to simplify the process of installation, and, even more important, the always complicated process of calibration. Software that helps and simplifies calibration significantly contributes to the improvement of the quality of the data and numbers displayed;
3) Like Tesla updates their cars regularly, SAILMON now does the same with respect to the Model E4 software;your system will be updated automatically and remotely to the latest version
4) The Screen View App: if you don’t want to buy expensive SAILMON screens, this no longer is a problem! Download the Screen View App on a tablet or smartphone, and this device will behave exactly as the traditional SAILMON screens. So, put your tablet or smartphone in a protective cover and mount it on the mast. Now you have the same functionality as a normal SAILMON screen – for a fraction of the costs. Of course, you compromise on the sunlight readability, but this now is the customer’s choice;
5) Already have a boat with instruments and displays from one of the traditional brands (B&G, Simrad, Raymarine, Garmin)? No problem! Keep them. Just install Model E4, it will connect to almost all existing displays. Model E4 does not discriminate, and speaks all languages;
Pretty impressive list I’d say. The above will be available by mid 2017 at the latest – most of it is already there. The first 4 items listed at the moment just need some fine-tuning and (GUI) refining.
So now all of a sudden, we for example have the magical black box solution for the thousands of B&G H3000 customers, who B&G left with no support or solution since B&G stopped producing their H3000 processor.
This is what is available now (a few things by July 2017). And believe it or not, the road map has much more in the pipeline! Some more previews to future developments in my next Blog #5.