Recreational boaters can now share their trip details with friends and family in real-time using MarineTraffic relaunched OnCourse app. The upgraded app OnCourse also allows users to plan and review routes and see and learn about vessels and landmarks around them using an augmented reality feature. The app has been developed by MarineTraffic, the world’s most trusted global ship tracking intelligence provider.
OnCourse is powered by the user’s smartphone and allows amateur sailors and boaters to report their position so that it is visible on http://www.MarineTraffic.com.
For the month of July 2017, MarineTraffic is offering a free trial of the latest augmented reality feature, which is usually part of the OnCourse Plus subscription.
New features for the free version of the app include:
Ability to add customisable stand-alone waypoints to the map
Collision detection & avoidance while sailing, showing Closest Point of Approach (CPA) and time to CPA
Export your voyage to GPX file or Route Planner for editing
Support of different units for distance, speed, temperature and latitude/longitude
View time/dates as UTC, Local and more
New over land/water function
New features that have been added to OnCourse plus are:
Enhanced Route Planner, follows the vessel’s track while sailing and guides the user to the next waypoint
Additional information during sailing (time to next waypoint, next ETA, final ETA, distance & bearing to waypoint, XTK)
Voyage planner feature: Enter starting point and destination and the app will calculate the optimal route
Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality feature can be used in combination with VR glasses for an enhanced experience
View stand-alone and Route Planner waypoints in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Demitris Memos, Managing Director of MarineTraffic said:
“Our app development team have added some exciting new features to the app that can be used by any sailor or boat owner with an iOS or Android device and mobile internet to help navigate and monitor their own position and those of other vessels. We hope OnCourse will make sailing and boating more accessible and fun for thousands of users.”
OnCourse is a self-reporting tool that simulates data transmitted by AIS transponders. The app uses the internet to transmit data and not actual AIS radio-frequencies. As such, vessel positions reported via OnCourse are visible only on the app and MarineTraffic.com. They will not be visible to the AIS receivers of other vessels.
Users of OnCourse input their vessel’s MMSI call sign number, or if their vessel has no MMSI, can generate a unique vessel ID using the app. They also configure other vessel details such as a vessel’s name, call-sign, dimensions, destination and ETA. Once a vessel’s ID and details have been established its position can be calculated by the app using the host device’s own Global Positioning System (GPS) sensor.
OnCourse consumes minimal bandwidth – an important feature for an app designed to operate using mobile internet only. Even if the app is set-up to send position reports at the highest frequency, it will use around 150 bytes per minute or 210KB during one day of continuous use.