New Functionality in WatchMate Vision
Vesper Marine has announced updates to its WatchMate Vision and XB-8000 product lines.
Now, in addition to transmitting and receiving position, course, speed and vessel details for collision avoidance, both devices feature high-speed 5Hz GPS receivers making them the first Class B AIS transponders that can be used as a primary positioning sources for any chartplotter, multifunction display (MFD), autopilot or instrument display on an NMEA 2000 network.
Vesper and its XB-8000 and WatchMate Vision now provide the option to enable high-speed GPS navigation computations. While other AIS transponders are able to only update their position, course and speed once per second, Vesper Marine’s innovative devices provide 5 Hz high-speed GPS calculations eliminating the need for external or secondary GPS antennas in most installations and resulting in greater accuracy and resolution when used as a source of position data for devices connected using NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000. With more accurate track logging and quicker response to course changes even at high speeds and during sharp turns, installations using Vesper Marine’s GPS display smoother and more exact movements on a chart plotter or MFD. The technology also benefits race boat operators that need to view their position related to the start line with greater accuracy.
“The XB-8000 and WatchMate Vision now eliminates the need for multiple GPS antennas, bringing significant savings in installation time and cost to our customers,” said Jeff Robbins, CEO, Vesper Marine. “With high speed GPS computations our transponders continue to be the most advanced AIS solutions on the market, and their increased accuracy produces a smoother and more precise track on navigation displays.”
Vesper Marine’s AIS transponders include the latest advances in global positioning technology, including support for international Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS) and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), resulting in accurate location information to within two meters or six and a half feet. Combined with the NMEA 2000 gateway and WiFi features of the XB-8000 and WatchMate Vision, this new technology creates an incredible product that is unlike any other AIS transponder. Offering high precision and accuracy for both AIS position reports and on chartplotter/MFDs, as well as through an NMEA 2000 gateway, the new functionality allows boaters to view navigation instruments such as wind, depth, speed and heading wirelessly on a tablet and other mobile devices. In addition to GPS enhancements, the XB-8000 and Vision are the only AIS transponders that provide magnetic variation data, which allows connected devices to be able to plot magnetic courses, headings and bearings.
XB-8000 and WatchMate Vision owners who also own NavPlay – an iPad app available in the iTunes store – will be able to place a direct DSC call from an iPad in an upcoming version. By simply touching a target on the chart and pressing the CALL button, the XB-8000 or WatchMate Vision communicates with a compatible VHF radio and initiates an individual station call. The VHF sounds an alert on the other vessel and, when acknowledged, both radios automatically switch to a selected working channel – eliminating the need to make complicated sequences of button presses on the VHF radio to enter an MMSI number.