With the introduction of the M2sat MarineCam shipping companies can use live video streams and still images for commercial and operational efficiency.
Hub Urlings, general manager of M2sat said, “The first applications we see running over the MarineCam system are purely commercial. One shipping company uses the MarineCam for corporate promotions and sends still images from its ship directly to the companies` homepage on the Internet. A special cargo shipping company uses the system to provide their customers direct access to the MarineCams on board of their ships to follow and watch their special cargo transport. The transportation of special cargo always brings a lot of uncertainty with the customer and project participants waiting for the delivery of these often unique goods. Being able to see the special cargo via a live camera made a good contribution to the sleep of many people. For the special cargo shipping company the live video is an important value added service that provides them with a competitive edge in the market.”
Where the first MarineCam applications mainly emerged in the commercial area, maritime customers like shipping companies, governmental maritime organizations, or yacht owners in future may use maritime video more and more to improve the ships operations, for security reasons or to help and solve on-board problems more efficiently. This could include loading operations in ports, record videos of accidents for insurance reasons, or use the system for video inspection of faulty parts or damages by remote experts. Maritime video could also be applied in the domain of human resources management, for the staff to stay in touch with families at home and for telemedicine applications involving remote medical assistance. Important area for Maritime video systems could also be to help and increase ship and staff security e.g. as tool to fight crime and piracy.
The system is optimized to use existing on-board satellite equipment like Inmarsat or VSAT equipment and use the relatively low speed bandwidth of maritime services (up to 256 kbps) for its video and still picture transmissions.
All videos and pictures can be viewed with standard PCs with Internet access on shore, but the shipping company has full control over who can watch the material and all transmissions are fully secure. Authorised viewers can select individual ships, look at stored still pictures or activate the on board cameras. They can even control the on board camera remotely. Shipping companies manage all user rights to this and in addition can limit the time for individual viewers to manage the costs (of the satellite connection).