Vesper Marine launches smartAIS technology

(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) — Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine safety products, has announced the release of its smartAIS technology. Combined with proven Vesper Marine products, smartAIS provides new capabilities — including the world’s first black-box AIS transponder with built-in safety alarms — to make boating safer and more enjoyable.

An active system with smart alarm logic, smartAIS proactively alerts boaters of potentially hazardous situations. Putting users in control, smartAIS combines navigation sensor data, and GPS and AIS information, with intelligent alarm management that prioritizes alerts for the most urgent response. While traditional AIS transponders require additional equipment to trigger alarms, Vesper Marine’s smartAIS units continuously calculate crossing situations and generate collision alarms for critical action, alerts the crew of anchor dragging, and activates alarms for immediate man-overboard (MOB) retrieval.

The WatchMate XB-8000 smartAIS transponder is the world’s first black-box AIS transponder to incorporate built-in safety alarms to alert boaters of potential collision situations, dragging anchor or man-overboard situations. New capabilities include collision prevention alarms; alarm profile management with "closest point of approach" and "guard" zone settings; and "anchor watch" capabilities with "move anchor position" and "breadcrumbs" of past positions of the vessel. An extensible platform, smartAIS receives new innovative features updated automatically through a smartphone and the Vesper Marine WatchMate app. The smartAIS device includes WiFi connectivity for up to five mobile devices anywhere on board, allowing boaters using the WatchMate app to monitor vessel information, manage alarms and much more — right from their device. WatchMate Vision smartAIS has also been upgraded to include MOB labeling and an enhanced user experience on the app.

The Vesper Marine smartAIS system is always watching for MOB situations. If a crewmember who is equipped with an AIS MOB device from any manufacturer has fallen overboard, smartAIS will immediately sound its associated alarm and continuously update the individual’s location, bearing and range for easy retrieval. It can also be configured with MOB labelling which associates MOB devices to customizable names so that when an alarm is triggered, the system displays the name of the crewmember for quick and easy recognition. MOB labeling is available on WatchMate Vision.

The smartAIS proactively alerts boaters when there is a potential collision situation. Combining GPS data such as position, course and speed; along with, AIS data and smart alert logic it continually determines safety implications and alerts users using both the associated alarm and mobile devices. It computes the closest point of approach and time until the closest point of approach and has critical alarms to warn of vessels posing a collision risk with information about the approaching vessel.

For more information on smartAIS, Vesper Marine, or its entire product line, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff