WIRELESS ENTERTAINMENT BY LENNY RUDOW
GONNA GET MYSELF CONNECTED!
Is your boat about to become an information hub?
EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN UNUSUAL GIFT FOR GAB, your smartphone probably exchanges information with more different players in 60 seconds than the number of people you talk with during an entire day. Bluetooth, apps, Wi-Fi, and satellites conspire to connect anywhere, anytime in countless devices we use these days — and soon, they’ll be slinging information around your boat, too.
A new wave of modern multifunction displays (MFDs) has shattered what we’ve
come to expect from our marine electronics,
and is likely to make nearly every unit made
prior to 2012 seem obsolete in short order.
Only a decade ago, our helm stations
were elevated from stand-alone units to
networked systems, but in the past few
months, we’ve seen advances that make
networked nav systems seem passé.
The latest trend in modern electronics?
Interconnectivity. If you think your smart-phone causes a lot of chatter, wait till you
discover how talkative your boat is about
One of the latest developments in marine
interconnectivity at the helm first came
from an unlikely candidate: Standard-
Horizon. Their new CPN1010i and
CPN700i, a pair of MFDs that
can be had for under $2,000 and
under $1,500, respectively, have
built-in Wi-Fi. When these units
hit the market, it suddenly became possible
to bring up Internet Explorer 6.0 right at
the helm, without requiring a separate full-
blown onboard computer. In the blink of
an eye, a manufacturer whose nav products
are commonly thought of as mid-range and
relatively inexpensive made connectivity a
reality, even on small boats.
1. The FUSION-Link mobile app lets you converse with your boat’s Fusion stereo
( 2), giving you full control of the system from your phone or tablet. 3. With
built-in Wi-Fi, the Standard-Horizon CPN1010i can run Internet Explorer 6.0
right at the helm, while ( 5) Raymarine’s e7 features Bluetooth connectivity as
well. The e7 can share what’s on the MFD screen with an iPad ( 4), iPhone, or
iPod Touch. You can also beam music up to the e7 from your Apple device.