SiMON2, for iPad & "smaller" yachts

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 3, 2010

The press release calls SiMON2 "the first alarm monitoring system for the new Apple iPad," which seems odd given what we've already seen from InteliSea.  I think what Palladium Technologies was trying to say is that SiMON2 is the first such app designed exclusively for the iPad.  It is not just an extension of a full bore PC-based megayacht system, like iSiMON or InteliSea, but rather a new iPad-centered monitoring system designed for "smaller" yachts...

Given the world Palladium generally works in, what it thinks of as "smaller" may not meet your definition, as suggested by the screen below.  And unfortunately the SiMON2 product page is not specific about the sort of sensor system used or the pricing.  But, dang, doesn't it look like a beautiful tap and swipe iPad app?  I haven't seen screen shot illustrations, but apparently you can use it not only to see what's going on around the boat, but also to control lighting and cameras.  There is a $4 demo now at the iTunes store, and maybe one of you will try it and report back.
   I'm sorry to add that Maretron's appealing efforts to adopt N2KView to iThings (see bottom of this entry) got badly set back when Apple extended its war against Adobe with new OS4 development restrictions.  Oy!  But surely some great Android and maybe even Windows tablets are in our future, and I've got to believe that forward-looking marine electronics companies are trying to figure out how they're going to make use of them.  At the moment I guess the big issue for us "smaller" yachts is how to easily and efficiently get NMEA 0183 or -- better yet -- NMEA 2000 boat data onto WiFi and hence to pads, phones, etc.  Tom MacNeil, who enthused here about iNavX, has made a video about how to make its TCP/IP connection, Grahame Shannon is working in the same area with both iNavX and Coastal Explorer...what else is going on?



Not exactly on topic but....
As someone who missed out on the unlimited data plan for the 3G model
I have been looking for a way to avoid getting locked into ATT's 2Gig limit.
Last night I was looking through the specs and noticed that they show it operating on the following bands: UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz). I could have sworn that when it first came out I read it was on 850 only thereby locking you in to ATT. Is this different now or has it always been this way? I believe that T-Mobile is on 1900 so would a cut down to mini size T-Mobile Sim work on this now? I know very little about this stuff so is there any glaring reason why this won't work? I don't own an iPad or have a T-Mobile account yet so this would be an expensive experiment if it didn't work. Thanks.

Posted by: John K at August 3, 2010 1:32 PM | Reply

Ben, I didn't realize that Maretron was counting on Flash-on-iOs for their N2KView iPhone/iPad port. That's a shame, since had they started with native XCode they'd be done with the iPad by now, and working on Android. But I guess they put their eggs in the AIR basket. Not sure I consider that choice a win yet (from the end-user perspective anyway), given the problems I've had with the AIR version of N2KView, but I don't know the inside story over there. And since I'm about to try N2KView on OSX, which wouldn't be possible without the AIR effort, I guess I shouldn't complain.

Seems I should get back to work on my generic 0183-over-TCP/IP marine instruments iPhone app!

Posted by: Adam at August 3, 2010 2:31 PM | Reply

I don't think the iPad will work with T-Mobile. I think T-Mobile uses the 1700mhz for UMTS/HSDPA.

You can look on wikipedia or here:

Posted by: Marc in reply to John K at August 4, 2010 9:49 AM | Reply

With Amazon just released a new version of the Kindle that supports wi-fi for $139 including a browser, I wonder if using a Kindle as an instrument display is as easy as a wi-fi connection to a laptop computer that can serve up web-pages with an instrument display? Maybe AIR would even support serving up the Maretron display?

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at August 4, 2010 9:56 AM | Reply

Dan, with due respect, I can't imagine anything more annoying than trying to look at constantly changing instrument data on an E-ink display. They're just no good for non-static content.

Posted by: Adam at August 5, 2010 6:55 PM | Reply

I can. 10 frames per second is no good for full motion video, but for instrument displays (e.g. not chartplotters) I believe e-ink could easily meet most boaters needs, where 4 or even 2 frames per second would be fine.

Posted by: Dan Corcoran (b393capt) at August 5, 2010 9:24 PM | Reply

$800 for an IPad, limited connectivity, marine environment, hmmm.

$125 for a 7" color touch Android tablet, now you're talking.

Posted by: Paul at August 5, 2010 10:38 PM | Reply

It's not the frame rate that bothers me; it's the flashing. Have you noticed that each time you turn a page on your kindle it flashes to reverse video (white on black) for a fraction of a second? If this artifact couldn't be engineered away I wouldn't want to use it for instruments.

Posted by: Adam at August 5, 2010 11:07 PM | Reply

Paul, okay, point taken, but iPad isn't $800 -- it's $499 or $629 for the 3G version.

Posted by: Adam at August 5, 2010 11:10 PM | Reply

The IPad ranges from $500 to $800. Its a fine piece of kit. But what bothers me more re: suitability for marine electronics is its lack of connectivity options.

I'm liking what I'm seeing coming in the Android space. Expect to see many options in more reasonably priced (dare say throw away) Android based tablets with much better connectivity options (USB ports, etc).

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Adam at August 6, 2010 7:52 AM | Reply

Let's not get all down on the just came out...Rev 1.0, remember? Steve will see or imagine something while taking a shower and we'll soon have the "iWetPad". Seriously.

My opinion: touchscreens will be the norm. iPads will just be the sexiest of them.

Always consider Moore's Law before you bitch out something... just wait, it'll change.
Always does

Posted by: Peter at August 13, 2010 9:09 PM | Reply

Peter. Suggest you do some comparison with Android 1.x tablets versus IPad 1.x, then you will understand my comments. IPad is short on connectivity options and a relatively closed software ecosystem (versus Android). If history is a guide, the IPad will remain a relatively closed system.

As a former product designer of several award winning marine electronics products, I'm very well versed in 'bitchin' about Moore's law, thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous in reply to Peter at August 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Reply

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