by Dom Wiseman

When you’re on the water, working out what exactly you are looking at is a difficult task. Using a radar screen can help identify objects nearby, but in reality looking at a radar or chart offers little on water perspective for the user.

Raymarine’s Clear Cruise Augmented Reality takes out the guess work and offers enhanced on water perception with a video feed straight to the Axiom head unit. The system works when combined with either a Raymarine CAM 210 or CAM220 IP cameras and Axiom multi-function displays.

From a navigation perspective this is a crucial add on to any onboard system. No longer are you simply guessing what exactly you are looking at, but you can see it too. The Raymarine technology combines stabilised dynamic video imagery with boat positioning perspective, enhancing your situational awareness.

Take for example a situation where we have a boat approaching us and one leaving. In real time, I can see exactly where they are in relation to the boat I am on and what direction they are heading in. Raymarine Clear Cruise Augmented Reality enables me to see critical navigation objects overlaid on HD video. Surrounding boats AIS equipped traffic and navigation aids are clearly identified with a live view

Taking that technology one step further, Clear Cruise Augmented Reality also marks the dynamic feed with colour coded labels. It identifies and marks objects moving towards you with a red tag and ones that are safe or moving away with a green tag similar to the radar display. Here we can see one boat, with a red tag heading towards us and another with a green tag heading away. Red is danger and Green in safe.

The technology also identifies major chart objects and offers an instant heads up recognition with estimated distance off. Even in conditions where vision is impaired, say fog and such, the software is still able to overlay important markers on the screen.

But this technology isn’t only for navigation. Fishermen with saved marks and waypoints can now visualise their marks across the water. No longer is it a case of lining up your triangular boat icon with the mark on the chart constantly zooming in to make sure you’re exactly on the spot.

From a safety perspective, a man overboard situation is also easily managed. Once someone has gone over the side, the captain can press the man overboard button and the system will mark that location and as you turn, pick up and place a MOB icon on the person in distress. It will also tell where they are in relation to the boat should you lose sight of them yourself.

The technology is incredibly intuitive and really enhances your on-water visibility. Even today in clear weather, it can provide valuable positioning information. Imagine what it could do for anyone on a completely new and difficult waterway.