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Smart Boat Sensors Advance at Miami Boat ShowSmart Boat Sensors Advance at Miami Boat Show

Sensor technology is making boats smarter

Chuck Martin

February 21, 2023

2 Min Read

Sensors in boats are getting an upgrade to become part of the universe of smart, connected things.

Technology shown at the Miami International Boat Show in Miami last week converts data from analog boat sensors into digital data on a dashboard providing a coherent view of all sensor activity on a boat.

Boats typically have numerous sensors, such as devices at a fuel tank, bilge pump, batteries or even the engine itself. 

However, the analog sensors generally provide rudimentary information, such as a red light if there’s a problem.

Airmar Technology Corp. has created a set of smart boat modules to capture the data from analog devices and convert it into digital data and then combine it all into a networked display.

“It’s basically a sensor gateway of older sensors,” Craig Cushman, director of marketing at Airmar Technology Corporation told me as he demonstrated the technology. “The system takes in data, such as from an older diesel engine, and converts it into digital.”

While Airmar’s “SmartBoat System” technology can be installed in boats already in operation, the company also targets boat builders and installers.

The smart boat system has an embedded browser interface with menus of all connected devices. It also can run wirelessly to a PC, tablet or mobile device.

The innovation for such systems is that rather than a simple identification when there’s a problem, the system can be configured by user-defined measurements, such as oil pressure readings at various rpm ranges or alerts at certain wind speeds.

While connected sensors in newer boats have been steadily advancing technologically, the large installed base of boats with analog sensors now has a path to becoming part of the Internet of Things.

About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost Internet of Things (IoT) experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the Internet of Things.

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