The sailing world is buzzing today with the announcement of the Afterguard system from Afterguard Marine. Developed by grand-prix sailors for more tech-savy sailors, the heads-up-display (a micro mounted to a pair of polarized sunglasses) shows specific data pulled from the boat’s existing electronics package. According to the folks at Afterguard, the system has been tested over the winter, and put out for peer review at the TP52 SuperSeries in Miami in March. They’re taking orders now for fall 2014 delivery of units. We’re on the hunt for some Miami user reviews, so stand by.
The Official Release from Afterguard
New technology company Afterguard is proud to announce the launch of its new Heads-up Display (HUD) for sailboat racing.
Sailboat racing has evolved with the technology era and is now driven by data and instrumentation. The difference between winning and losing is the ability to adapt a carefully orchestrated plan to the ever-changing natural and competitive environment, faster than the competition. Having the right information at the right time can be that difference.
The Afterguard system, with patent pending technology, provides this information by combining a fighter pilot style HUD with boat instrumentation data to give the best situational intelligence and performance metrics at a glance, on a small display mounted on sunglasses made for the harshest of environments. A number of screens and features are available to the user:
At a glance the user will know with certainty how the boat is tracking to the start line, freeing the crew to concentrate on the speed build and competition, for the perfect start. This is made possible by the intelligent time-to-kill metric that uses the boat’s current heading and speed to calculate the exact amount of time the boat must kill before crossing the line precisely at the gun.
The Performance Dashboard displays the relevant information to any given crew member, from the helmsman to the trimmer. Metrics include: Boatspeed, Speed over ground, Wind angle (true and relative), Wind speed (true and relative), Polar targets, Heel angle, and depth.
Virtual Tactician removes the guesswork associated with making a mark or clearing a boat. By tracking the user’s gaze and combining it with the system’s data the user will be able to make split second tactical decisions without relying on a hand bearing compass, lines marked on the deck or other basic means. Simply put, the user will be able to look at another boat and gauge whether they are ahead and whether there is room to cross.
The Afterguard System uses the Central Communications Unit (CCU) to pull raw data from the boat’s instruments, manipulate this data and then stream it to the crew’s robust but lightweight (only 60 grams) HUD sunglasses. These sunglasses boast Recon Instruments’ award winning HUD technology, with up to 6 hours battery life, and polarized lenses making the Afterguard system ideal for all conditions. The full Afterguard system is available for $1899 for the month of April before increasing to $2499.
Ross Macdonald, two time Olympic medallist in sailing said: “Heads-up Displays have only ever been seen before on-board America’s Cup boats. So often, the cutting-edge technology on these boats hasn’t made it to other race classes. The Afterguard system is one of those rare occasions when it has.”
Alex Moret, Founder of Afterguard: “The HUD technology in the Afterguard system has been vetted in high octane environments by special forces, wing suit pilots, space agencies and NASCAR racers. Anybody who has tried to port tack the fleet on a crowded start line can appreciate how appropriate those vetting environments have been.”