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DataLinker- An Innovation to Change Sailing Forever

The problem: you would like to send your boat’s sensor data to the internet, but your phone internet is jammed, because you have to use wi-fi to get the data in the first place.

Dataliker enables you to get your boat’s data (NMEA0183) via Bluetooth 4.0, enabling you to use your internet and saving your battery in the process. Did we mention it is plug-and-play? The uses are limitless. A regatta live on screen for the spectators, the ability to record and analyze your performance, or receiving data from the windward mark are just a few possibilities.

The Race Committee app available from Google Play store

The Race Committee app available from Google Play store

Datalinker can be connected to multiple applications and online services in real time.

Datalinker can be connected to multiple applications and online services in real time.

What is DataLinker?

DataLinker is a new technology which acts as the interface between a vessel’s electronics and a mobile device. It collects and shares the vessel’s sensor data using Bluetooth Smart Technology- Bluetooth 4.0.

How was the idea for DataLinker born?

“I was thinking of a way to try and supply instrument data to dinghies and I came up with this mobile weather station idea.  It was a small mini computer which hooks up to a cell phone where the information can be put on a cloud to share with people who need to see it,” exclaimed Adrian Sinton, IT Director, Nanny Cay. “We extended the idea to the BVI Spring Regatta race committee last year in 2015 which led to the development of the SailRacer race committee app.”

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What is the benefit of using Bluetooth 4.0 over similar connectivity methods?

“We went with bluetooth because it keeps the internet channels open and is far less complicated to set up than a similar WiFi scenario. Using bluetooth allows you to stay connected to your instruments, while keeping the internet channel open so you can search weather updates, updates, or course changes, and extends the battery life by using less power,” says Adrian.

“If you’re using the SailRacer app you can do live updates so your friends and family can watch your data feed and position in real time.” IMG_1220

How does SailRacer work in conjunction with DataLinker?

DataLinker is the supplier of information to SailRacer, a full feature app acting as the interface between the instruments and the cell phone which displays numbers in a readable form. In addition it graphs and averages these numbers so you can tell at a glance what the trends are.

Is DataLinker only for competitive sailing, or can it be used for leisurely sailing?

“DataLinker is the interphase between between the phone and data, so it can be used anywhere and it is incredibly versatile, therefore useful to any sailors. For example, fishing boats can check the depth of water and bottom graph” said Ricardas Novosinskas.

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What sensors will the DataLinker device transmit?

  • Position data
  • Speed of water
  • Boat speed
  • Battery of service voltage
  • Water depth
  • Wind Speed and direction
  • GPS information

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What are some of the competing technologies available on the market which use wifi to share sensor data?

There are companies which make several different devices using wifi solutions: NIMEA 2000, NMEA 0183 (old protocol), and Ciroc Raymarine.

How will DataLinker be a revolutionary technology in the world of sailing?

“DataLinker is a plug-and-play device sharing wind, GPS and compass information from your boat network to a mobile device. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 – what requires less battery power than WiFi and keeps 3g/4g internet channels open all the time. From now on data you need is always in your pocket on a smart watch or event on sun glasses,” said Adrian.

“The technology provides the best method to pass vessel instrument data to your mobile device and the internet, thereby giving you the ability to display and record your instrument data, provide live tracking in real time, and analyse your performance after sailing,” exclaimed Ricardas.

DataLinker has already been tested so there is minimal risk of it having any technical issues. Once the product has been certified by Bluetooth, FCC, and NIMEA 2000, SailRacer will launch the technology into mass production.

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Photography by aLookingGlass

Lauren Charley

Lauren Charley

Writer at aLookingGlass
Lauren graduated with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations.

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