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3D braille map that talks….


The Brainovi is a conceptual portable device designed to assist the visually impaired with navigation.

The unit interprets voice commands from the user and relays navigational information via a touch display and bluetooth headset for spoken directions from the handset.

The touch display uses a pin matrix surface to show roads and buildings in the immediate vicinity (surrounding ten meters) and provides the correct orientation with a built in compass.



The Brainovi was developed by Korean designers Seung-Hyun Yoon, Seol-Hee Son and Ji-Youn Kim, I think this concept device has great promise. They

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Lasers to measure wind 1000m away…


Optical Air Data Systems (OADS), LLC, a small, award-winning high-technology business in Manassas, Virginia, is a world leader in the high power fiber-optic laser business with additional expertise in Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)

The Vindicator® laser wind sensor (LWS) is a forward-looking LIDAR system capable of measuring real-time three-dimensional wind speed and direction data at varying ranges. The sensor design is based on state-of-the-art fiber laser technology developed and patented at Optical Air Data Systems.

Catch the Wind Inc  have licensed the OADS technology and create equipment that enables engineers to optimally align

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There is more to ETA on a sail boat…


The SailTimer GPS was launched in the US recently for around US374 amid a lot of very interesting claims. Having researched the various technologies available for creating your own polar diagram I thought this device was rather innovative in its approach. since it claims to effectively create a polar diagram “on the fly”.

“…This is the first device in the history of sailing that can instantly tell you your optimal tacking angles.  And it can do this by learning the performance (“polar plots”) of your individual boat on different points of sail.  The

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Getting a Polar Diagram for your boat…

Having researched the articles on optimal routing recently, one of the many avenues of related research that presented itself was of course to do with determining what your boat performance characteristics really are. For a sailing yacht this at the very least involves having as reasonably accurate Polar Diagram.

My previous posting entitled “Boat characteristics and learning to Wally” generated some comments from readers which are worth following up.

I have now discovered that the University of Technology at Delft have developed a mathematical model based on their research into hull

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Chart plotting software..

While researching my 7 part article on Routing Software I came across a number of packages that just amazed me in their sophistication or some aspect of their functionality that I thought was particularly good. Some of these packages are very low cost or even free. Many will run on handhelds or netbooks. Some will import and export waypoints, routes and tracks to the big name chart plotters.

The thrust of my previous article was of course Weather Routing NOT chart plotting. In other words taking into account all the data inputs such as GPS, Wind, Weather,

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