PanPan - a virtual lifeline on your smartphone

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by panpan, May 16, 2016.

  1. panpan
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    panpan Junior Member

    He all,

    For the past view months I've been hard at work to solve a problem my father in law had.
    He was going on a sailing trip with his son that would require them to sail in shifts. Day and night.
    The alternating shifts meant there is always a risk to fall overboard without the other knowing.
    So he asked me to make something simple and affordable that would work with his phone
    since he already used that for navigation.

    A view months later, PanPan was born and I'm very curious to learn what you think of it!
    You can checkout the website bellow or/and ask me any questions on this forum.

    http://crewwatcher.com

    Here's a quick summary:
    PanPan is a smart crew watcher that constantly checks if all crew members are still on board.
    If someone were to go overboard, it will automatically sound the alarm.
    Not only that, it will provide everything needed for a swift recovery and rescue;
    Coordinates of the point of loss, time of the event as well as a constantly updating rescue heading.
    Pricing isn't final yet but we aim to sell for €80 or 90USD

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Very nice and useful. I have a pan, pan on my mobile, but it is a normal one, connected to a central switchboard, who then alert the various bodies needed. Bert
     
  3. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Pan Pan, I have a question. There are lots of single sailors. Can the unit also be connect to a system which then alarms a central switchboard?
    Also for the 80 Euro considered. Maybe a little high when one has 5 or 6 crew members.
    Bert
    If only one unit is required and then given to the new watch, then it is not too bad.
     
  4. panpan
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    panpan Junior Member

    He Bert,

    Thanks for your replies!

    At this point PanPan is not ideal for solo sailors.
    The app will send a message to emergency contacts but that requires a cellular network. We are planning some exciting follow up features/products that make it more usefull for the solo sailor such ***: wifi/seatalk communication with your on board equipment and an engine kill switch.

    I agree that fitting an entire crew is still quite a sum but Current PLB's are starting from about € 300 a piece.

    You could very easily hand over the beacon for each man on watch. It is a little less secure since you might forget and not wear one when you need it.
     
  5. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Pan Pan, but that is exactly how , per example SafeTrx works. The difference is that instead of all your crew members mobile numbers are added on your system, a single sailor could possible add this link (mobile number) to the central emergency switchboard, unfortunately indeed, his engine or auto steering, can only be disconnected by you. (in the future) I hope I have understood your system properly.
    Bert
     
  6. panpan
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    panpan Junior Member

    He Bert,

    I'm not familiar with SafeTrx but just had a quick look.
    I think the difference is this:
    SafeTrx seems to focus on issues with the boat itself rather then with it's crew. If you deviate from you sailing plan it will trigger alerts over a cellular network. The rescue is focused on the coast guard.

    PanPan's mythology is different. Instead it focuses on the individual and rescue from the boat that has the best chance of rescue, the one you fell off. It's made to alert onboard crew of a man overboard event.

    If you are sailing solo, you would be better off with a PLB for now.
    In the future this might change as we roll out auto pilot/engine updates.

    Does that make sense?
     
  7. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Pan Pan, Sorry misunderstanding. That is my English what came over wrong. I mean, I think that your system will either go via blue tooth to the other members, or via the towers. If you go via the towers, a single sailor can then just add the cellular number in his phone and when he falls overboard, your system will alert via his cell phone on board the emergency centre. In that case your system would be an ideal product for all sailors. But I have not been able to find out how your signals work and that makes it difficult to judge whether it will also work way out of reach from the towers. Bert
     
  8. panpan
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    panpan Junior Member

    He Bert,

    No worries. Yes the beacon communicates over bluetooth to your phone using a specialised long range antenna.
    If the beacon falls in the water, the alarm is direct at the crew on board. This does not require cell towers.
    As a last resort, the phone will able to send an sms text message to the coast guard or a number you provide. Sending the message to the coast guard however will only work when you are in range of the cell towers.
     
  9. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Excellent, then your system works for 98% of all sailors. Well done. Only a very few single sailors will travel across the ocean or far away of he coast. My experience is that Mobile towers are within range from10 - 20km. I tested it out yesterday here at Jersey(UK Chanel Islands) and I could receive France, which is about 14Km away from the coastal line. Will be back in South Africa next week. I will check the map then for mobile transmission coverage along the coast. This should also vary from 1 km to 15 - 20 km. Well done, usefull system for a reasonable price. Bert
     
  10. panpan
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Netherlands

    panpan Junior Member

    He Bert,

    This is very useful information. I was un-aware that cellular would be so well received.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Jason
     
  11. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Pan Pan, you see in Holland the country is flat and therefore the towers are low and as soon you sail far away from the coast, the signal will no longer reach the mobile phone. However in a lot of countries which are hilly, they often have the towers on he highest hill , otherwise their transmission will be not reaching an acceptable large area. We are lucky in the RSA, that quite a few towers are very high up. That is our luck. Bert
     
  12. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 148, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Communication with cell phone towers in a hilly country may be a bit disappointing. To reduce power consumption narrow beam antennas are used, pointed towards the areas where subscriber density is large enough. In remote areas there is little or no coverage.

    Here in Croatia the coverage at sea is almost nonexistent, even on local roads there are dead spots in the shadows of hills with a high aluminum content. When leaving the bay where I live, reception is lost although the antenna is still clearly visible on the top of the hill.
     
  13. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    yes many countries has narrow beam areal transmission to save cost. Croatia is a poor country and the recovery cost of the service provider investment is accurately calculated. Our costal line has many very expensive properties and I don't think the wealthy people will take it kindly when they don't have reception. But, like I have said, when I am back, I will look at the coverage of the 4 service providers. I like to hear what other sailors has experienced. I have in my car a second phone with a "pay as you go" card from the other biggest service provider, just in case. Maybe that is a solution. Bert
     
  14. Sea Beaver
    Joined: May 2016
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Estonia

    Sea Beaver New Member

    That's a bit like saying a Tag Heuer watch is 2000 euros, so my alarm clock app, which does SO much more, is a bargain at 450, isn't it?

    For whatever it is worth -- just one data point for you to consider in your feeling of the market -- the pricing is way off.

    Especially since it doesn't replace an AIS MOB beacon (closer analogue than PLB) at all, since it doesn't work offshore and it doesn't alert other boats.

    I bet you'd get more traction and make more money, if you take a zero off the price.


    Just my humble beaver opinion.
     

  15. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 2,500
    Likes: 44, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 223
    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Although I also thought that the starting price is a little high, but after some rough calculation, making the mould on its own, having a reasonable production run, cost for designing the package etc, one cannot expect to sell it for a loss. No company in the world is doing that. As long it is well tested for seawater, maybe with mil. specs, i.e. a couple of heat test and cold test, I think. it is worth to save/protect our life's. Bert
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.