Since I was on the cool boat tech bandwagon yesterday there are several other cool tech items for boats that are well, very cool. I am a huge fan of the OpenROV team. I’ve had one of their ROV’s for the past three years and they are well built and fun to operate. There is something about being able to well see what is under the water. OpenROV lets me explore under the boat. I haven’t come face to face with a shark yet, but then my face is pressed to the monitor topside, and the shark would be underwater with my drone. It would be cool. Although I wonder if sharks think ROV’s underwater are food.
That got me thinking of some other products. First off I love things that are connected to my iPhone or iPad. Why? Because it is easier to carry one device and add on to it, than have to carry multiple devices. The battery issue alone is critical. There are a number of products that are value add and work with your portable devices. Deeper is one of them, a cool sonar device that you can literally cast into the water. Then since it is connected to your iPhone you can see via sonar what is beneath the Deeper ball. The picture is their stock image but the device is so easy to use it is amazing. It works by the way in either fresh or salt water. If you are careful you can cast it with a rod and reel, or simply let is out behind you as you tool around the lake, bay or river you are boating on!
There are also quite a few that are interesting in the space. Water Strider is an interesting add on for your DJ Phantom Drone that lets you land on water. Since it is hardened plastic it can land on fresh or salt water. I suspect it wouldn’t handle over a 4-foot roll, so be aware of the ocean conditions before you take off and land on water. I tried it (water strider) in the pool in our backyard (kiddie pool for the labs to stay cool in during the hot months of the summer). It landed and took off very well. The Strider is built with plastic so it only adds about 1.2 pounds which reduces your flight time and some of your aerodynamics but the value add is pretty good. I went from average flights of 14 minutes to roughly a little over 12 minutes for maximum flight time.
Beyond the other things there are the tough series cameras from Olympus. Video and standard/video cameras that let you not only get them wet, but encourage it. They take pretty good underwater pictures if there is enough light. I’ve taken the TG-4 down to about 10 feet in depth, the images were pretty murky but the camera was fine. The new action camera they have (Olympus) also supports underwater video. It is similar in size to the Go-Pro’s. We have several videos taken on our European Cruise on our YouTube Channel with the Olympus action camera.
The interesting problem for broadcast TV is the reality of antennas and for satellite TV, you have to get a special (and very expensive) dish receiver that supports the motion in the ocean. While sitting on a boat you forget in time that in fact you are moving up and down with the ocean waves. That up and down movement makes it really hard for Satellite receivers to work effectively. You don’t want to mount a huge antenna on a boat, for terrestrial broadcasts so you are bound to the old-fashioned entertainment know as DVD’s and Blu-Ray! That is fine by me. Cellular signals work on boats, as long as you aren’t too far off shore. You can watch live TV via your iPad easily. Add a Chromecast to your TV’s on the boat and you have live TV!
Finally, as I close out my two-part cool boat tech series I would also take this moment to remind everyone considering boating, that the USGS requires you to have both electronic and paper maps. There are times when Electronics fail, you have to be able to read a compass and a map so that in that case you can make it safely back to port. Nothing is worse than a stranded boat that didn’t have a paper version of the map of where they are.
gadget fan boating geek