Simrad NSO evo3 multifunction displays, and hints of Navico future

Ben Stein and Ben Ellison

Ben Stein and Ben Ellison

Panbo editors Ben Ellison and Ben Stein usually create their own Panbo entries, but sometimes we write together.

15 Responses

  1. Xavier Itzmann says:

    Ben, looks very cool and I just downloaded Embark which seems an excellent option for cruising boats… Official charts, paid by the month for a mere $2 or $3 per country? This is cruising boat heaven! No competitor offers this degree of flexibility, incredible for the traveling boat. Thanks for the tip.
    Now, let’s talk about those Navico Simrad nice screenshots, using their latest software… I have the equivalent for Navico B&G. See all those newfangled menu software buttons on the upper corners and zoom buttons at the bottom? You can run the entire MFD with these buttons.
    Oh, those are oh so perfect on an NSO screen or on a Vulcan, which have “NO” hardware buttons.
    But what about us, who have an OP40 hardware controller, or simply an NSS/Zeus 2 with hardware buttons? Well, Navico did not use to have these software buttons, but they introduced them on the latest software updates, and cannot be disabled on hardware that does not need them.
    Look, it’s great they are innovating, but really, if I wanted a Navico Vulcan interface I would have purchased a Vulcan w/o hardware buttons. I am sure others enjoy having the option of both sets of controls but I just think one should have the option of turning off the redundant screen clutter.

  2. abbor says:

    Xavier, NSS Evo2 has always had the Menu and Zoom soft buttons. Evo2 is lacking a hardware Menu button so it won’t work without the soft button. The software upgrade added the Pages button and changed the look of the other. I’m very happy they upgraded the Evo2 look to be the same as Evo3.
    Ben, the processors used in NSS Evo2 have always been documented in the installation manual. The 7 and 9″ are using a single core i.MX6 while the two larger models are using a dual core from the same family. NSO Evo2 is using the quad core version, I don’t remember if it’s documented in the installation manual. There are now more effective Plus versions available of these processors, they were not available when the Evo2 models were designed. I don’t know if the plus versions are used in NSS and NSO Evo3 or not.

  3. Quitsa says:

    Looks as though the NSO Evo3 drew heavily on the Garmin 8600 series feature set with some further advancements. Now let’s see what Garmin comes up with. They should be not too far from an update on the 7600 series.
    There will always be some strong inherent resistance to the idea of a single large screen replacing two smaller displays, especially if each has stand-alone processing capabilities. Not everyone has Gizmo’s multiple redundant displays!

  4. Xavier Itzmann says:

    Hello Abbor,
    Here is a pic of a Zeus2 with software version 2. Clean screen, no ugly menu buttons in the corners cutting into the data display.
    Here is a pic of a Zeus3 with software version 3. Redundant menu buttons in the top corners. Zeus2 updated to v3 look exactly the same. Redundant menu buttons cannot be disabled.

  5. abbor says:

    NSS Evo2 has always had menu and zoom buttons for charts and sonar.
    This screen shot is from 2014
    I don’t find the Evo3 soft buttons which have migrated to Evo2 ugly, I think they are stylish and I find the addition of the Pages button handy.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    A great feature of the evo3 WheelKey I meant to mention is that you can use it to switch between between windows on a split screen and then with long press make desired window full screen. That’s something I do fairly often on Garmin and Raymarine MFDs and I miss the ability on NSS evo2.

  7. HenryD says:

    I am curious how today’s agreement with Garmin will change Navico?

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    B&G Zeus3 Glass Bridge MFDs are here:
    HenryD, I’m curious about the settlement terms — there was not a clear winner in my understanding — but I may never find out. In the meantime it sure sounds good that the patent fight is over and that they’ve even laid the basis for future cross licensing. Hopefully we won’t see products pulled off the market again, and also improved performance and features from both manufacturers. Like better down vision from Garmin and auto routing from Navico.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    More boat integration: Garmin OneHelm announced today…
    …and I’ll get a Miami demo tomorrow with Ben Stein.

  10. Ian Falconer says:

    Another great article and informative comments from your readers. Thanks.
    I would like to highlight some concerns with the race to all touchscreen UIs as being the holy grail. Marketing loves it but R&D, support and the users don’t necessarily benefit. We’ve been here before in other industries. (1960s through the 2000s) The automotive, aerospace and naval experience of fully integrated systems without good tactile controls is well documented with two main issues.
    Firstly moving platforms (those that experience acceleration and jerk motions) are not controllable with touch interfaces. Rotary controls and other tactile interfaces are key to maintaining control and situation awareness.
    Secondly when we have fully integrated systems then continued utility when the system is degraded is less practical. Many of the interesting case studies in the military domain highlight the importance of being able to maintain situational awareness by referencing another independent system. Many lives have been lost due to crap UIs.
    The technical comptetence and product quality from the marine vendors is also not great. I’ve experienced poor software quality issues when upgrading B&G Zeus2 systems, including UI bugs and bricking of AIS units. In 2017 this is not good enough. This makes me nervous in applying updates while cruising. Also digging under the hood of the Zeus2 and finding a many years out of date, niche Linux OS, just makes me shudder. The security and stability issues alone annoy me.
    I look forward to the day when these vendors adopt the best practices of the technology industry and truly open source their non differentiating software and hardware.

  11. Michael says:

    “Simrad has eliminated the NSO evo2 box and integrated all electronics into the displays. While possibly simplifying installation and minimizing space requirements, this change also means an upgrade or repair will require replacing the entire unit.”
    Which is why our boat is 90% through a navigation systems refit based on a ship’s computer using a stock gaming motherboard, stock screens, a suite of different navigation systems which I am going to experiment with (so far OpenCPN seems the best), iKommunicate gateway, etc. Every single component is open to every other, I can change anything I want without changing anything else, and if something breaks it’s not expensive to replace it. The boat will have a full glass bridge for the price of a single marine MFD. This approach is not for everyone and I’m not saying it’s the only or even the best way forward, but when I read that ‘ an upgrade or repair will require replacing the entire unit’ I think I made the right decision (for me). YMWV.

  12. Chris Barber says:

    I’m immensely disappointed that the black box architecture has been dropped, but not surprised considering that there is more profit margin in selling multiple fully integrated displays compared to a single BB and a couple of dumb displays. The BB systems were problem not selling as much volume, so they cut it loose and will increase their total profits.
    And no IP camera input? I was really feeling like a big fan of Simrad until I read the specs on the evo 3. This just feels like a massive downgrade.

  13. Kim Lindberg says:

    Simrad announces Information Display:
    Is this maybe the first public fruit of their acquisition of Yacht Defined?

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