Remember back in the dark ages (circa 2000) when you had to actually print out directions? Thinking even further back (gasp), you may even remember a time when people would have to buy maps and plan out their trip beforehand. The invention of the smartphone has changed quite a lot, but one of the most noticeable improvements comes with Google Maps and other GPS apps.
Instead of fumbling with paper maps (or even dedicated GPS devices), your smartphone is virtually all you need to get from point A to point B, C, and D, all while avoiding traffic jams and getting updated routes if you make a wrong turn along the way. Now, this tech may just be coming to your favorite waterway as well in the form of Waterway View.
Utilizing the same tech that powers Google Maps’ Street View, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (in partnership with Google) has begun mapping the Intracoastal Waterway and the many lakes and waterways that dot South Florida. Though the instant benefit that may come to mind is helping with navigation, it turns out there could be other big bonuses for both businesses and boaters.
This app is more than just a GPS tool, but also allows boaters to discover fuel spots, boating service stations, and even restaurants that cater to them. With this added discoverability, not only do boaters get tipped off to useful locations they may have otherwise missed, but these businesses will also hopefully see new attention (and customers) with the added visibility.
If it continues to grow into new regions, Waterway View could become a universal boating tool just as Google Maps’ Street View has for motorists. In the meantime, if you are boating in South Florida, check out the app for yourself and see what you discover!
Back in the days before everyone had smartphones on-the-ready, we used to figure out how to get from point-A to point-B the old fashioned way–with maps. Today, drivers only need to know the name of the place they’re trying to get to, drop it into Google Maps and be on their way. To apply this technology to many popular South Florida waterways, Google is stepping in with Google Street View maps, making navigation easier than ever.
Partnering with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Google is set to create a detailed map of 143 nautical miles from Jupiter to Key Largo. Though the obvious benefit is directly to the boaters who can more accurately map out their next day of waterway fun, there is also a big benefit to the area’s boating-related businesses. With Google Waterway View, waterside businesses like restaurants, fuel docks, marinas and more will be prominently featured, hopefully bringing more attention and new customers.
The potential collective good that this project could provide is huge for boaters and the boating industry at large. Those who enjoy the many fantastic South Florida waterways will soon be able to make lunch plans and choose where to gas up as easily as they might in their cars. Who knows? Maybe your favorite waterway will be next up for Google.
Boating is beloved by many for the escape and solitude it provides. Nothing beats hitting the water for a bit of tranquility and time away from the hustle and bustle of cell phones, social media and emails. However, tech is also poised to make boating a whole lot easier, interactive and downright interesting in 2016. Let’s examine a few tech trends to look for in the boating industry this year.
Boating Tech Trends in 2016
- Improved Websites: Not just in the boating industry, but everywhere, the use of cell phones to surf the web has companies to take another look at their websites. Due to people visiting websites on everything from a gigantic, widescreen computer monitor to a smartphone that fits in a back pocket, websites are being forced to consider conforming to whichever format the user chooses. To do so, look out for revamped boating websites that are responsive, meaning they automatically reformat to best fit the screen at use ( a design that our very own website utilizes).
- Interactive Videos: If you haven’t seen a 360-degree video posted online yet, we highly recommend you give one a look. This tech allows users to watch a video, but also view it at any angle they choose. It’s something similar to wearing a virtual reality headset and is a great way to provide an inside look of boats or yachts in full motion. The possibility of virtual tours has us excited to see where they take this tech in 2016.
- Wearable Technology: Speaking of virtual reality, VR headsets are new, improved and ready to take over the tech world this year. Imagine being able to tour a legendary fishing spot from the comfort of your own home before booking your trip. Smartwatches may also have a promising future in boating, allowing for more easily accessible weather warnings, GPS locating and more.
- Mobile Apps: Apps are still a huge opportunity for boating brands to tackle in 2016, taking full advantage of the vast majority of people that utilize cell phones throughout the day. Look out for new apps to assist you in all aspects of planning a day of boating, from weather to fishing tips to finding your next boat.
- Beacons: Along with VR, beacon technology is a new and exciting possibility for boating companies to interact with you. With this tech, companies at a boat show or marina could directly send you details about the boat or product kiosk you’re walking by, directly to your smartphone.
Though we may not have flying cars and robot maids, the future is here in the boating industry. Everything from beacons to apps, virtual reality to responsive websites are making our lifestyle even easier to enjoy. Though we still enjoy simply hitting the water with a fishing rod and a friend, we’re excited to see what advancements in boating tech do to the pastime that we know and love.
Information provided by: Boating Industry