I sail since I was a kid, I'm a sail racer since I was a boy and I develop software since I was just 11 (and I was born in 1972)… as a scientist I love to mix things; as a sailor I love when things clockwork. I had the idea of BApps, boat apps, in the autumn 2011 in Chicago, while a productive conversation with Ian Foster, huge scientist and sailor.
My first computer programming and sailing "flux crossing" was in the middle of '80s while the Amiga used to rule: read NMEA from a Loran C and visualize the boat position on a home made vectorial nautical charts... but to go faster we need more sails, more technology and... more experience!
FairWind is an integrated, multifunctional, navigation software based on open technologies designed and developed by a very interdisciplinary team in order to maximize the benefits and the advantages.
It is a marine single board computer device leveraging a custom-built infrastructure on top of stable and well-documented mobile and cloud technologies.
From the marine electronics point of view, the most remarkable innovations introduced by FairWind are the Boat Apps that extend the FairWind basic features, integrating with already present onboard instruments and straightforwardly interacting with industrial or self-made internet of things based instruments.
The board dataset, collected by FairWind, is a scientifically intriguing source of huge amounts of geolocated data (big-data) about marine coastal environment (weather and sea conditions, surface sea currents, water temperature, water depth, etc.), boat engine status, boat performances (speed, heading, pitch, roll, yaw), presence of board water and waste management, fuel consumption and, above all, safety at sea and search and rescue systems.
- Works on any Android device with 4.4.2 and above. Because the nature of the FairWind system, it works better on a single board computer ruggerized enough to resist in the marine environment.
- Interfaces with the most part of marine electronics equipment using SeaTalk, NMEA0183 and the new brand SignalK (http://signal.org) protocols. The NMEA2000 integration is prototyped but not already tested.
- Acts as a NMEA0183 / SeaTalk gateway to SignalK offering data as Web Socket and Web Service.
- Implements a local web server compatible with SignalK web applications.
- Works with 3 types of apps: 1) Regular Android apps. 2) Marine apps: regular Android apps designed for yachting/boating but not for FairWind; in this case FairWind shares instrument data with apps. 3) BoatApps: Android apps developed using the FairWind SDK: anyone can create its own marine electronics!
- FairWind SDK is a powerful and free software development kit. The developers can share or sell their application using the same FairWind data and look and feel.
- FairWind works on the cloud storing data for the boat owner and the scientist.
- Last, but not least, FairWind is fully customizable and really cost effective.
IMPORTANT: FairWind works with famous and high quality marine electronics brand equipment that are professionally tested and supported. Don't consider FairWind as your primary navigation support. Maps offered using the FairWind interface come from the OpenStreetMap/OpenSeaMap initiative. Use professional charting apps (that works perfectly with FairWind) as, for example, http://navionics.com.
FairWind is the best crew member on any kind of boat: from dinghies and inflatable boats to sailing yachts and luxury power boats, because it is a common gateway interface for all boat data providing useful services. FairWind could act as chart potter, data logger, sailing instrument primary source and/or repeater, panel switch center, smart anchor alarm, tracker, performance analyzer and predictor, security, tactic board for racers, ports, protected bays and anchorage database for cruisers… and many more things not yet imagined!
FairWind is open hardware because it works on world spread common embedded system-on-chip boards supporting the Android operating system as, but not limited to, the Udoo Quad nice hardware (http://www.udoo.org). It works with both Android 4.4.2 and 6.0.1.
FairWind is developer friendly because it is mobile and web technologies based and creating a new software component is as easy as developing Android apps. FairWind SDK is the software development kit that make straightforward the design, the development, the testing and the debugging of core and plug-in components. To contribute to the FairWind development you don't need to be a boat owner!
FairWind is innovative because… yes, we have the Boat Apps! FairWind could be fully customized creating new ad hoc boat apps (BApps). BApps can access to all boat data and create and share new parameters. Users can download and install BApps from the regular Google Play store, but, of course, the FairWind apps have to be up and running on the device.
FairWind is ubiquitous. With any web client ranging from a simple Pebble smart watch to top smartphone passing through a web enabled e-book reader, anyone on the boat can interact with the FairWind services and web GUI respecting one's role! (Right or wrong the Captain is the Captain)
Finally, FairWind is a university initiative born in the High Performance Scientific Computing Smart Laboratory (http://hpsc.uniparthenope.it) of the Department of Science and Technologies (DiST, http://dist.uniparthenope.it) at the University of Napoli Parthenope (UniParthenope, http://www.uniparthenope.it) joining the effort of the “Sebeto – Student Creativity” (http://students.uniparthenope.it), “Hack Arts Lab at UniParthenope” innovative teaching projects and the “Regional Centre for Marine and Atmosphere Monitoring and Modeling” (RCMAMM, http://meteo.uniparthenope.it) operated by the DiST. New motivated partners are welcome!
FairWind will be available on the Android Store free of charge and as ready to use image for UDOO QUAD and DUAL. Registration is needed, in order to enable cloud based features and unlock data management,