Garmin 2006 new marine products, a slew
The Garmin media team was busy last night, distributing a stack of complicated press releases and a pile o’ product shots, all to describe some 20 new units that were introduced at METS today (and will go on sale next March). Here are the bullet points I’ve gathered so far:
* New BlueChart G2 (next generation) charts feature 3D perspective, tides and currents overlay, and other enhancements, and a slew of new plotters, plotter/fishfinders, and network multifunction displays (like the 3206 above, bigger here) come preloaded with all U.S. coastal G2’s. (NOAA’s freebie policy strikes again!)
* But G2 is a two tier product, sort of like what Navionics is up to, and G2 chart cards add more data like detailed coastal roads, more POIs, and color aerial photos of critical areas. Garmin says that U.S. cards will start at $199, “far less than competitors”. (But I don’t know what that means exactly). G2, by the way, is not compatible with older plotters, except the 3000 series, but older BlueCharts will work in new plotters.
* Garmin has a new network called CANet, which can connect the smaller 292, 392, and 492 plotters with two new black box fishfinders or the new 398 full fishfinder. It sounds like a CANbus variant but is 1 megabit (?). The GSD-22 bb is Garmin’s “first digital sonar, allowing for more precise target separation and depth performance” and also supports Garmin’s MarineNet (Ethernet).
It’s going to be interesting to see how all these products stack up. I’m wondering, for instance, what Garmin’s version of 3D perspective looks like, and whether G2 will also come on CD. And, of course, pesky observers like Panbo reader R.O. are asking “what about NMEA 2000”. More to come, to be sure.
PS It will also be interesting to see who picked up DAME awards at METS today; this is one of the better innovation competitions out there, I think. And, by the way, Jeff Hummel is at METS and says he’ll write a Panbo guest blog on his findings.