Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 19, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
At METS this morning, Simrad announced an evo2 update to the NSS Series and quite an update it is. The new multi-touch wide screen models will come in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch sizes, and since they are close family in every way to the recently discussed NSO evo2, a boater will be able to mix and match bright, glass-bridge-style displays from 7 to 24-inches. And while NSS evo2 can network with Simrad's radars, sonars, SonicHub audio, WiFi 1 etc., all four sizes come with "embedded CHIRP enabled Broadband sounder and StructureScan" (which can probably network out to the whole family)...
All six new NSS evo2 models are now online and you'll see that the two extras are 7- and 9-inch "m" versions without the built-in sonar. Other new features across the line are embedded 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receivers, a "best in class" faster processor and HDMI video output. And, yes, the NSS will now do 4G dual range radar like the NSE can. In fact, it seems like the larger NSS models replace NSE, though I gather that the NSE line won't be discontinued largely because it's popular on the commercial scene.
NSS (and NSO) evo2 also include a redesigned interface that looks intriguing, I think. Note, for instance, how nicely autopilot and SonicHub are presented on (and probably accessible from) the data sidebar in the top photo. Plus, there's the Home screen above that seems to offer quick, easy access to data/settings, main functions, and favorite combo screens. I don't yet know what multi-touch gestures are supported, but hopefully, Kees Verruijt will get fingers on an evo2 when he visits the show on Thursday.
I also like the look of this evo2 go-to screen (even if that's clearly demo data), but hat's off to Garmin for coming up with the big corner number design (I think) and to Humminbird for the clever 3D horizon compass. I mean no criticism as I think borrowing good ideas is often a good idea. (Incidentally, I also think that the new Humminbird ION saltwater MFD system -- which I got on the water in Lauderdale and will detail soon -- includes a number of multi-touch and other features that will turn heads.)
Also, introduced today was B&G's version of the new NSS hardware, Zeus 2 or Zeus (squared). Of course, it includes sailing features like SailTime and SailSteer, but perhaps even more interesting is how those useful data graphics are moving up into B&G's new H5000 instrument and autopilot system. H5000 seems to be a massive redesign that integrates lots of new and existing B&G gear with Zeus and NMEA 2000, but I'll leave it at that as Kees has taken a serious interest.
At METS Simrad is also highlighting two advanced GoFree developers, TripCon (PC Log) and Pocket Mariner (SeaNav 2.0). Fortunately, I've been testing both -- wind, depth, AIS, and more on my Pebble watch (holy cow!) -- and will report. Oh, and Navico announced that it is acquiring Consilium's professional radar business including products, R&D facility, engineering team - the works.
All this news, plus Garmin's huge product launch and much more METS not covered yet, confirms my feeling that marine electronics is growing faster and better than ever. And is even more fun, which is my excuse for closing with the NSS8 screen photograph I took last spring in the ICW. Helping me find my way is 4G radar, which is going to work even better with evo2, and that's StructureScan letting me know that I'm over smooth bottom, but, wow, those white images I scrolled back to are dolphin that played in Gizmo's bow wave.