Standard Horizon CPN booty, & the great convergence(s)


I wrote about Standard Horizon’s new CPN series in December — and in the current issue of Cruising World — but now there’s more detail up on the SH web site.  I particularly like the booty shots of the 1010i and 700i because all those ports really speak to the technological convergence going on with this design.  That’s the theme I tried to weave through the February CW round-up of new electronics, which unfortunately isn’t online yet, and had to be drastically cut due to space constraints anyway.  But I’m getting a second chance, sort of, as I’m working on somewhat similar feature for the April issue of Yachting.  It will still be shorter than the CW attempt, but it will be purely about how so many of the electronical things we do on boats are coming together, and how it’s happening in such divergent ways…

Plus several new quite convergent-y products have appeared since I wrote the Cruising World piece. I’m thinking of Digital Yacht’s BoatraNet as well as Spot Connect and BriarTek Cerebrus, but there are others for sure. The changes are happening fast, I think, at least in marine electronics terms.  And the Standard Horizon CPN innovation certainly isn’t the only representative from the more traditional fixed marine electronics world.  Consider the Simrad NSE/NSO series, which has added (C-Zone) system monitoring and contol, SonicHub A/V, and full autopilot control in just the last year.  Consider too that on Monday it became official that Navionics and Raymarine have teamed up to offer route and track “plotter sync” between the former’s mobile charting apps and the latter’s full blown MFD systems. And I’ve heard that further integration is in the works, and suspect that Navionics would like to work this way with all the hardware vendors. Convergence will happen in many ways.
   The folks who should pay special attention to the forests of ports on the backsides of these CPN multifunction displays are those who think that iPads and their ilk will soon put a big hurt on fixed marine electronics. First they have to explain how all that connectivity, some of it very specialized and proprietary, will become wireless, standardized to conventional protocols, and truly reliable. But then again we’re starting to see marine appliances meant to integrate more marine data with consumer electronics, there’s at least one guy in the trade who’s positive that a truly free range IP radar sensor will emerge this year, and how long will it be before there are bright, powerful, fully multicasting i or A things?  Convergence is going to be interesting, and of course all your opinions are welcome as I try to put this in sentences for Yachting readers.


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.

15 Responses

  1. Jeffrey Siegel says:

    > First they have to explain how all that connectivity,
    > some of it very specialized and proprietary, will
    > become wireless, standardized to conventional
    > protocols, and truly reliable.
    1. As in almost every other industry, the proprietary hardware and protocols has limited life. It offers nearly no benefit for the consumer and tends to only lock them into a particular vendor.
    2. We’re already seeing WiFi emerge as the standard, high-bandwidth, wireless medium by which data flows. There are already marine electronics interfaces and adapters using WiFi now and many more surely to come. You wrote about one yourself this week (although that had a proprietary part to it that I wish didn’t exist).
    I look forward to the day when you show the back of a new high-end piece of marine electronics that only shows a power cord coming out the back. When I see all those connectors, I see it as a step backwards.

  2. Alchemy says:

    Why am I reminded of the early days of personal computers when every builder had a different protocol and cable connector and implementation of a wobbly OS?
    Unfortunately for the companies involved, people like me planning long-term cruising within the next two or three years might as well tune out the introduction of new gear…and the rationale for purchasing it…until the dust settles and the “winning” standards are established.
    One of the drivers in my interest in PC-based (and now netbook-based) plotting and SSB management is because I refuse to get bogged down in various proprietary standards and protocols. Having worked with PCs for close to 30 years, I *understand* Ethernet and IPs and wireless…and given that the datastreams of nearly any marine gadget/sensor are quite modest, I fail to see why we don’t yet have the “plug and play” available (often via the USB standard) for marine gear. I understand the need for “marinizing” the connectors, but surely that is trivial next to the huge end-user benefit of simplicity and familiarity?

  3. These look very interesting Ben. It looks like radar has been removed from the features list? Perhaps you could find out if it is a forthcoming feature to be included in a future firmware upgrade when the radar hardware is ready, or if they decided not to make these radar capable?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Chris, I think it’s just that Standard’s radar support has always been a bit odd. I believe the CPN and some of their other MFDs (many of which just got significantly updated) work with Koden radars but you have to buy the scanner from Koden.
    But I’ll check tomorrow, when I get to see the CPNs at least in Beta flesh. I’ll also get to go online with BoatraNet and maybe Spot Connect.

  5. Paul says:

    “First they have to explain how all that connectivity, some of it very specialized and proprietary, will become wireless, standardized to conventional protocols, and truly reliable.”
    Move all the proprietary connectivity to IP based protocols, then run that over whatever physical network connectivity is appropriate (Wifi, Ethernet, Zigbee, etc). There are no issues re: reliability, all this was long ago proven to work in industrial control systems. It can run in a lighter footprint, embedded devices. This is not rocket science; its a pattern that has repeated many times in many markets.
    It has not happened because customers are not demanding it loudly enough, leaving the manufacturers to continue with relatively closed systems.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Rats…are other Panbo viewers just seeing a big blank in the Twitter box above? Interesting announcement from KVH and more:!/Panbo_BE

  7. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    What twitter box? I looked for it in both IE8 and Firebox.

  8. Peter says:

    I see no Twitter box either…suspected my browser too as I have Adblock and Noscript.Guess Ben has some technical issues!

  9. GPSNavX says:

    I see the Twitter box just fine. Mac OS X 10.6 and Safari 5. I sure wish you could make the Captcha case insensitive.

  10. Peter says:

    Me too…Twitter box there when I use Safari,but not Firefox.

  11. Ben Cosier says:

    Since these seem to be running on something close to a PC backbone, could they use Navico’s PC kit to integrate broadband radar? Is this something that SH (Motorola) would consider doing, particularly since it looks like they have teamed up with Baron for internet weather( QuikLink is a PC product.
    Broadband radar integration with the release of 4G would be much more attractive to most users than pulse radars.

  12. scott says:

    Any NEW news on when the cpn are going on the market??

  13. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Scott, I have a December press release that says the two CPN models will be available in January, 2012, and several Google shopping sites seem to confirm that. I saw a CPN demoed at the Fort Lauderdale show and the software seemed a lot faster and more finished. Standard Horizon was very ambitious with this project, but maybe we’ll soon see how it works.
    But CPN users will still need to wait on “Spring 2012 software enhancements” to get “NMEA 2000, Dual Station Networking, and Bluetooth (on screen cell phone caller ID, wireless keyboard and mouse)”

  14. Chris says:

    New CPN units have been travelling at least around European boat shows from January and as far as I know they should be in production soon, but not yet. Saw the units live in METS and they seem quite finished already.
    UK website already has dual station networking and NMEA2000 in the specs, but no mentions about BT. Maybe this is based on the Spring 2012 SW update?
    I should be able to get some hands on with the units soon, so will see how they survive in action..

  15. Chris says:

    Seems I was misinformed, N2K, BT and networking options might be coming in later. I just wonder why do they have details of these functions up on their UK website…
    And production schedule was also premature info, we still have to wait for these units to show up for sale. But maybe we will know more soon..

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