Published: Friday, 30 October 2015

Digital Yacht has taken to the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to introduce Single K, a new interfacing technology for the marine electronics market.

Kickstarter Campaign Kicks Off For Ikommunicate

The newly developed open source Signal K platform provides a big step in marine interfacing and iKommunicate allows the open source to be compatible with existing National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) based systems.

NMEA data standards used to interface onboard electronics are widely used by today’s marine electronic equipment manufacturers. However, both technical and legal barriers with these interfacing standards stop developers from using this boat data, making it difficult to support smart devices and smart data.

Legally developers of both hardware and apps must pay the NMEA organisation for documentation and certification of products, which can add up to thousands of dollars. 

With these issues a group of open source developers and boating enthusiasts have implemented the open data platform called Signal K. It has been developing over the past few years and the name comes from the original signal K (kilo) flag that indicates "I want to communicate".

Kickstarter Campaign Kicks Off For Ikommunicate 1

Signal K aims to be the next generation solution for marine data exchange. It is intended to be used not only for communication between instruments and sensors on board a single vessel, but also to allow for sharing of data between multiple boats, aids to navigation, ports, marinas and more. It is designed to be easily implemented by web and mobile applications and to connect boats and ships to the internet.

Digital Yacht has designed iKommunicate to link NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 based systems to the new Signal K format allowing existing marine electronics to integrate with the new standard.

Like any emerging technology, a catalyst is needed to seed change so they've embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to gather early adopters and bring the product to market.

Kickstarter Campaign Kicks Off For Ikommunicate 3

"Kickstarter isn't just about the funding element of a new product but also about the valuable direct relationship we can establish with early adopters who can provide so much information for applications,” says Digital Yacht CEO Nick Heyes. “We see the co-existence of NMEA and Signal K being the perfect technology match and iKommunicate acts as an easy to install gateway.”

The project is live now and will run until mid December.