$5,695, 7-inch display; $7,695, 14-inch display; www.navnet.com
Furuno rocked the 2012 Miami Boat Show with the release of its NavNet TZtouch multifunction diplay, the first ever to boast dual-touch screens with functionality like an iPad. Furuno engineered TZtouch to run on a powerful, advanced processor, virtually eliminating redraw time and supporting a host of actions accomplished using one- or two-finger motions.
As you might expect, zooming is accomplished with a pinch gesture, but other standard functions are just as easy. For example, to change the chart orientation from north-up to course-up, touch your vessel icon with one finger and swipe with another to rotate the view. Push up with two fingers to change from 2-D to 3-D mode.
Creating a route is another simple pleasure. Touch to create a starting point, and a menu appears. Touch the “New Route” button. Open pinch to zoom out, then touch to create the next waypoint. The screen automatically scrolls and pans to advance along the route as you make more waypoints. Waypoints can be shifted and new points can be inserted, both by touch.
TZtouch has a home page displaying a carousel of window combinations to design your onscreen grid, whether a single window or one with two or three panes. Drag and drop functions such as chart, radar, fishfinder, or instruments, whatever combination happens to be needed at the helm. Combos are stored on the menu carousel.
For those that find some touchscreen actions difficult in a seaway, TZtouch MFDs offer mechanical alternatives. A home button and combination rotary knob/select button enables the navigator to rotate through carousel selections. Once you’ve selected a screen, the knob performs a common function, such as zooming charts.
TZtouch MFDs have native Wi-Fi, which, when connected to an Internet hot spot, allows overlays of live weather and cartography updates. But it gets better. An app transforms an iPhone or iPad into a repeater for the MFD and any connected sensor. Better yet, another app actually duplicates TZtouch on the iPad but with full control of the MFD using precisely the same gestures. An Android version will be out soon.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.