In 2016 Nextfour launched a cutting-edge marine navigation system in cooperation with the Finnish powerboats manufacturer Buster Boats. Their idea was to combine all boat’s assets into one easily operable interface, thus creating a system that would be the next step towards the future of boating. So how is the world’s smartest navigation system doing today?
Earlier this year the system entered the mobile world, as Buster Boats launched the first ever mobile application based on the Q system. Buster is currently the only boat manufacturer that has launched an app, but as the support for mobile has now been built, we might see other boat manufacturers follow soon.
“Q Experience is an open and flexible system and we are happy to complete boat manufacturers’ requests for extensions like this. Buster app is the first of its kind but I can definitely see that other manufacturers, too, could want this kind of app in the future.” comments Q Experience’s CTO Johan Wessberg.
Buster Q application extends Q system’s benefits by allowing boat owners to use its key functions not only on their boat, but where ever they go. Application’s main functions include:
- Remotely monitor boat’s status, e.g. fuel level, battery voltage and location.
- When synchronized with Q Panel, the app automatically stores each trip on the logbook. App’s logbook works as a backup for your information and it’s also possible to share best trips with family and friends.
- A comprehensive library of Buster’s boating guides and videos.
- Easily renewing and managing the Q Panel’s data plan.
A useful application for remotely monitoring boat’s status would be e.g. checking that boat’s battery is ok before leaving home. You might also want to check boat’s location if you have borrowed it to a friend and want to make sure they returned it in the right place.
Application’s automated logbook can be used to synchronize all trips to a server. They can be used as a backup in case anything happens to the actual Q Panel. Trips and routes can be shared with others through the app. App also contains the same boating guides and manuals that can already be found on the Q Panel. The fourth main functionality is managing the Q system’s data plan.
After its launch earlier this summer, the app has been downloaded hundreds of times and it has received flattering reviews by recreational users and professionals. Buster Q app is available for free in Play Store for Android and App Store for iPhone.
Another new addition to Q system is a new model, that makes multi-screen installations easier and more cost-efficient. The new Q Panel 16 M is similar to the already existing Q Panel 16 in size, but it has up to four built-in LAN ports. This allows connecting multiple Q Panels via simple Ethernet cable. This will, in turn, cut down the installation time and eliminate the need for an additional switch that takes up valuable space.
The need for a new panel type came straight from manufacturers that want to build bigger boats with multiple touch screens:
“We work in close cooperation with boat manufacturers to provide them with the exact solutions they need, and Q Panel 16M is a good example of how this works. In talks with certain manufacturers we discovered that they want to install multiple touch screens on their new boat models. This was already possible with an extension box and the existing Q Panels, but we wanted to do even better than that.” explains Q Experience’s headman Niklas Öhman.