MarineMTS has launched ‘Silverbox’ – a new piece of technology that is set to boost the maritime sector by providing secure chart and data updates to mariners across the globe. Silverbox will help vessel owners and operators improve voyage planning, enhance safety and prepare for a future of automation.
Silverbox, which has undergone rigorous testing on client vessels around the world, will enable the delivery of live, secure, automatic updates to navigational charts on vessels that use an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) – mandatory for all sizes of commercial craft by July 2018.
Real-time chart updates are not currently available with existing ECDIS technology.
MarineMTS’s Silverbox – packaged in a single ‘plug and play’ unit – will revolutionise maritime operations by bolting onto any brand ECDIS, increasing its functionality and providing access to current data. It comes with anti-virus capability, compresses and encrypts data for transmission, offering a secure, cost-effective and fully integrated solution for mariners.
Wynne Edwards, founder and managing director of Stonehaven-based MarineMTS, commented: “The launch of Silverbox means that ship owners and operators will, for the first time, be able to unlock the full potential of their navigational systems through our innovative bolt-on technology. The current ECDIS is akin to the first generation of SatNav for vehicles, which didn’t automatically sync with the latest data and therefore were rarely up-to-date. What we have developed is a plug-in that allows real-time maritime charting to be easily accessed.”
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has introduced regulations requiring ship owners of all sizes to replace paper navigational charts with electronic systems, and as of July 2018, all ships must use ECDIS. There is a growing desire for vessels to use real-time data, particularly as the market moves towards the next generation of ships. As with land vehicles, automation is on the horizon, and when that time comes real-time data will be essential to keep global shipping moving.
In preparation, MarineMTS has for five years been focused on a period of intensive research and development, leading to the testing and now the deployment of Silverbox, the first in a new line of products for the maritime industry. Wynne Edwards continues: “From super tankers to leisure craft, the shipping industry has traditionally been behind the curve in terms of adopting digital technology and big data. All ship operators are now upgrading to electronic data, and we are providing the ability to jump straight to secure real-time data and future-proof their operations.
“We estimate the global market for this type of technology to be around a billion US dollars. As first to market, and with a global network of contacts garnered from the customer base for our current products, we are well positioned to bring a healthy slice of that to Scotland.”