DAME Awards 2010, part 1
EchoPilot's 3D forward looking sonar, mentioned here last year when Kees covered METS, purportedly just started shipping, and the screen shots posted at the company site are even more compelling. That spire imaged above, for instance, represents a navigation buoy with a triple mooring system. But might this product be causing the judges of this year's DAME (Design at METS) Award some anguish? They did choose it as one of the six finalists in the Marine Electronics category, but it's got to be difficult to judge such a unique technology on the basis of screen shots, especially when they can get more hand's with some of the other other nominees...Two worthy competitors in the category are the new Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 transponder, discussed here in Sept., and Garmin's GPSMap 720, the European version of the 740 that's been impressing me no end. Other nominees are the CMI compass by Autonautical Instrumental -- which I don't really understand, to be frank -- and Spinlock's slick-looking Rope Sense portable load sensors (there's a model with wireless connectivity to PCs too). And finally there's the EmpirBus NXT, which looks to be a very flexible control/monitor for a distributed power system. All the input/output seen in diagram below certainly looks intriguing, but, again, like a hard product to fully comprehend and judge.
At any rate, the stated criteria for the DAME Awards goes like this: "The judges are looking for all-round excellence in design. They will evaluate styling, construction, functionality and innovation. Ease of use and originality will also be taken into account, along with other factors such as price versus performance." It will be interesting to see who they choose for a marine electronics winner next Tuesday, when the show opens, and of course there are many electronic products in other categories...
I'll cover more DAME nominees soon, but anyone can check out the list posted on the DAME page here, and you can find details about the nominees in the New Products section, which includes lots of interesting products that either weren't entered for a DAME, or weren't chosen as finalists. I'll close with a non-electronic product that seems practical but also surprising for its name. METS is a tremendous example of how global the marine industry is, but I guess some words can still have a different impact on one continent than another. Check out www.shitstrip.com, but watch out for the animated seagull poops ;-).