SEVERNA PARK, MD—FUSION Electronics walked away from the 2012 NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference Expo with the Technology Award, for the company's high-performance 700 Marine Stereo Series. Honorable mentions went to Furuno's NavNet TZTouch multifunction display and SI-TEX's AIS antenna splitter. Three members of Boating Writers International (BWI) selected the winners from among 23 entries, based on innovation, benefit to boaters, practicality, and value.
The NMEA Technology Award was presented at the 2012 NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference Expo held September 26-29 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Florida. The four-day event was attended by representatives of leading marine electronics manufacturers, dealers, and distributors, as well as media and others from the United States and abroad. Introduced in 2009, the NMEA Technology Award recognizes recently introduced products that advance technology within the marine electronics industry.
A unique feature of FUSION's 700 Marine Stereo entertainment system is FUSION-Link, which enables boat owners and boat builders to utilize the NMEA 2000® backbone to repeat FUSION system data on remotes, displays, and navigation units as well as depth, speed, heading, and other data on a FUSION display without running extra cables. Multifunction displays, such as chart plotters, fish finders, or radar systems with FUSION-Link software installed, have complete, on-screen access to onboard FUSION entertainment. Boaters can further enhance the system by adding a WiFi router and using FUSION's new app on an Apple iPad or iPhone or on various Android products for wireless remote control anywhere on a boat.
"We are thrilled to have the NMEA recognize the FUSION 700 Series as a revolution in the control of onboard entertainment," said Todd Crocker, national sales manager of FUSION Electronics. "This honor is an affirmation of our efforts to continue developing high-performance marine entertainment solutions that exceed customer expectations."
Tim Queeney, editor of Ocean Navigator and Ocean Voyager magazines, chaired the BWI panel of judges. Joining him were Bill Bishop, who writes The Marine Installer's Rant blog, and Glenn Law, executive editor of Salt Water Sportsman magazine.
"As always, the NMEA convention is a feast of great marine technology. This abundance—23 products were entered—makes judging the Technology Award especially tough," said Queeney. "My 'short list' had nine products, and it was a struggle to pare that down to a winner and two honorable mentions.
"We felt the FUSION product scored well in every category. In terms of innovation, the FUSION 700 Marine Stereo Series uses the NMEA 2000® interface and was designed from the start to be a marine radio. In terms of benefit, this is a product with wide application to all kinds of boaters. Regarding practicality, its marine-first design gives it ruggedness to survive the marine environment, and, when considering value, it does a great deal for a reasonable price."
NMEA Executive Director Bruce Angus said, "Competition for the Technology Award is always very keen because of the high level of innovation and excellent value represented by all of the nominated products. My hat is off to the judges for their technical expertise and analysis of the products according to the award criteria. I want to thank Tim, Bill, Glenn, and BWI for helping to make the Technology Award such a success."
Also presented at the 2012 Conference Expo were the always-popular NMEA Product of the Year Awards, and Manufacturer of the Year-Support Awards. NMEA members from around the country selected winners in several categories through a member voting process. Here are the results:
Furuno NavNet TZtouch TZT9 w/DRS4D
KVH TracPhone V3
KVH TracVision® HD7 w/Tri-Americas LNB
Furuno NavNet TZtouch TZT14 Multifunction Display
Airmar Technology CHIRP Broadband Transducers
FLIR£ Systems M-324XP Thermal Imaging System
Manufacturer of the Year-Support
Furuno USA, Inc.