Demand for centralised control fuelling integration

Garmin GMR Fantom 18 Garmin's GMR Fantom 18 (pictured) and 24 offer MotionScope Doppler technology

Boaters want to be able to control all systems on the boat from one central screen, whilst monitoring and controlling their boat when not onboard.

This trend will see the removal of smaller displays and switches from the dash and has already resulted in more integration between companies, explained Dave Dunn, Garmin’s director of marine sales.

Garmin has established several new OneHelm partnerships recently and is working with companies to integrate onboard boat systems.

Remote monitoring

Garmin has recently acquired digital switching company Trigentic, which sells products under the EmpirBus brand. “We see that the boatbuilders are very interested in combining most of the technology into the same system from the same supplier,” said Pontus Fernstrom, Garmin’s EMEA product manager.

“The next big trend is to be able to monitor and control your boat when you are not onboard. Customers are used to smart homes and smart cars and this trend is coming to the leisure marine industry as well.”

Garmin is keen to leverage technology from other sectors and has used technology and hardware from its outdoor/fitness segment to develop the quatix 5 boating smartwatch. “The quatix 5 lets you stream data from your MFD and even steer your autopilot with your watch,” added Mr Dunn.

Garmi has also used its camera technology from other segments to wirelessly integrate its VIRB action cameras to its chart plotters. Its recently launched ActiveCaptain mobile app has been developed amidst the connected boat trend and features enhanced connectivity, community and planning functionality.

Solid growth

“Garmin is seeing solid growth in the electronics market. New OEM builds are strong and the retrofit market has shown incredible growth,” Mr Dunn said.

He added that more people are choosing the latest technology as electronics are becoming more affordable and predicts there will be more integration within companies in the future and customers will benefit from a more seamless experience.

Other new technology from Garmin includes the 1222 Touch and GMR Fantom 18 and 24 which offer MotionScope Doppler technology.

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