Furuno NavNet 3D, a teaser

Furuno NavNet 3D teaser

AskJackRabbit got the NavNet 3D scoop, and it sounds interesting. Apparently the hardware is all new, including “digital” radar and several NMEA 2000 sensors (like GPS and weather), but is still backward compatible to some existing NavNet gear. The “3D” angle remains mysterious but Furuno is claiming “You won’t believe your eyes” in a weekly series of video teasers at www.navnet.com, and the ‘lectronic laddies are speculating over at BoaterEd and The Hull Truth.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

13 Responses

  1. N4NLN says:

    the user interface on the Garmin 5000s is spectaularly good. There is an immense amount of subtle detail which feels just right when using it. The touch-screen is very well-done without saying “Look at my touch screen!”. Further, it leverages the substantial “mental programming” that has been performed on us users by web browsers. The interface feels instantly familiar – not just “easy to learn” but that you already know how to use it.
    Prior to spending some time with the G5000, the UI on the Northstar 961 and 6100 has been the “gold standard” in my book, but the G5000 UI blows it away completely. Given that UI design has always been NavNet’s weakest point, it would indeed be remarkable for them to launch something materially better than the G5000.
    that’s not to say it’s impossible, but that is a very, very tall order.
    oh yes, the “Mariner’s Eye View” is very cool indeed – something possible to do *only* with an object representation of all the nav-aids. MEV shows you what you should be seeing the way you should be seeing it – nav-aid colors, flash rates, etc, to help pick out the the important stuff from the random blinking distractions. especially in places like the Chesapeake where there are *many* extraneous blinking colored lights, it’s easy to believe feature could be very useful for gaining (or regaining) one’s orientation in night operations.
    at the moment, if i had to make the choices again, i’d think very, very hard about going with the G5000 instead of the Northstart 6100s that i have.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Let me add that I know N4NLN, and he’s not easily impressed! And when I read some of the skeptical comments about 3D navigation at BoaterEd this morning, I thought to myself, “these guys have not tried Garmin’s M.E. 3D yet.” But, who knows, maybe Furuno has done it as well or better?

  3. George says:

    If their second teaser is at all an accurate representation of the unit’s capabilities then what they are really bringing to the table is a fast graphics processor. It is possible that they developed a custom chip to decode the S57 chart data (custom ASICs are not impossibly expensive) and coupled that with a large amount of video cache.
    If they combined that with a touch screen like Garmin then it really would be awesome. The problem with all of the ENCs is the time that it takes to look ahead compared to a paper chart. If the chart would scroll as fast as you could drag your finger across the screen then you would really have something. (You could use a touchpad if you hate fingerprints on your screen.)
    I have been waiting for Navnet VX3 for a long time — they are very much delayed. My boat has been long delayed but to my surprise they have been delayed even longer. I’m about to get the Garmins, which are every bit as impressive (in the showroom at least) as people say.
    As a side note: to deal with any potential issue of fingerprints on a touch screen, I am slaving the output of my Garmin to a 17″ screen. The Garmin is mounted off to one side, so I can stand in front of it and adjust things without blocking the Captain’s view of the radar. (She can get impatient in a hurry, especially if there is fog.)
    In essense the Garmin acts like a very large interactive touch screen. It would be interesting if Furuno had the same concept — or at least a touch pad. If you use the Garmin for just a little bit you will find yourself getting really impatient when you go back to the typical chartplotter “hold button until the cursor scrolls to the right place” controls.

  4. A Murray says:

    I know a lot of rumors and info on NavNet 3D all i can say is look at what northstar have done with the hardware and furuno “MAY” have done the same

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Dante. I’m gathering from you and A Murray that NavNet 3D may be a PC-based system running some offspring of MaxSea? But what the heck does “native 3D” mean. RNCs and ENCs are very 2D, and even Google Earth is 2D excepting for the topographic distortion of the photos and the building models.

  6. A Murray says:

    Hi Ben,
    Furuno are being VERY tight lipped about it all so i know no more that what i think it could mean.

  7. Dante says:

    I guess none of the 3D stuff out there from Raymarine, Garmin, or this new Furuno stuff is “Really” 3D, unless they have a version where you would wear some funky glasses. However, from the short video clip on navnet.com, Furuno is tilting the entire chart to provide a perspective mode. It looks fascinating as it has never been done with any chart plotter before, or at least I have never seen it.
    I’ve looked at Garmin(Bird’s Eye) and Raymarine’s(Platinum) vesions. They all completely erase the chart and provide some schewed rendering that I would not attempt to use for real navigation. However, if Furuno tilts the actual chart, it could be very interesting because the aspect ratio would change yet the actual chart would stay in perfect detail. Check the navnet video clip again to see what I mean. It seems pretty clever to me if it works and is easy to use.

  8. George says:

    Hmm, one fact that has not been highlighted is that the plotter will only use S57 or raster charts. I presume that they are preloaded from the NOAA site.
    The good news is that Furuno will support a non-proprietary format, the bad news is that the NOAA charts are not all that can be desired yet. There are lots of areas in the San Juan Islands that are not covered, so you get what we call the “blob” or “amoeba” charts. Coastal explorer has tried to patch the holes with some vector charts of their own (I don’t know the source) — which helps. Unless Furuno takes steps to deal with that issue, they will probably regret not supporting C-Map at least in the short term. I really liked the fact that Navnet Vx2 came in both a C-Map and Navionics version.

  9. A Murray says:

    Who says they are only supporting S57 charts?
    maxsea supports lots of charts ?

  10. martin says:

    Looking at a new boat purchase and have been considerering a navnet 1800-1900 series or a garmin 5000 series touch screen unit. I did notice that my previous garmin units were sometimes a little tempermental. A little prone to get hot or get confused if you hit too many commands at it. The I was playing with the garmin today and it locked up in the showroom. Any comments.
    Apparently the garmin unit has a function with connects with the XM weather system that plots where certain species of fish are likely to be based on conditions it picks up from whatever sources. this just sounds too good to be true. Is this sales talk? had enough of that in the boat purchase process.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Martin, I’ve been testing four of the new Garmins this summer, including a 5212, and I don’t recall a single lock up. I have seen “Auto Guidance” requests fail, just showing the processing icon endlessly, but you can still use the machine, and can halt the guidance calculation by making another routing request.
    XM Weather, fully supported by Garmin, does guesstimate game fish locations by species. I don’t know who provides the information to XM, what it’s based on, or how accurate it is.

  12. Chris Clulow says:

    I have been using the Garmin 5212 for about 6 months…
    It works well but here are a few of my issues:
    1. Power cord has a loose fit and has come unpluged a few times in ruff water.
    2. A few times the touch pad screen has freaked out when some salt water spray hit it.
    3. A few software issues that have all been fixed with updates (4 since new(2.5-3.1)).
    4 Redraw (refresh) rate is not so good with the added G2 chart info. I have to stay with north up orientation in bad seas with minimal detail.
    I do like my garmin but its not perfect (or the most expensive) yet.
    I will buy the Navnet 3d when it arrives (April 2008) and give you an update.

  13. Mark Minelli says:

    I have always been concerned with salt spray effecting the operation of a touch screen display on my center console open fisherman. Are my concerns valid????

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