Tech start-up Sammy and IoT firm Libelium are using connected technologies to modernise the way marinas are run and operated.
In the Greek port of Patras, they’ve installed a wireless sensor network that can monitor mooring berths, measure sea water levels and observe weather conditions.
The nautical tourism and yachting markets are lucrative and constantly growing. According to the European Commission, they generate around 15 billion Euros a year and provide more than 300,000 jobs.
Changing marine tourism through IoT
The pilot project is expected to be deployed to other Mediterranean marinas over the next few months. It’s already been well received at conferences in Greece, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
This solution is perfect for yachters, skippers and marina administrators and can support e-booking services, parking assistance and guidance to different areas around the coast.
The firms say they’re filling a gap in marina services as well as opening up new opportunities in communication and operation for marine tourism and ports around the world.
Forming a wireless network
The network consists of a plethora of technologies, all of which can deal with different issues in a marina. Libelium has supplied three different kinds of its Waspmote Plug & Sense! Sensor Platform, sporting a range of different tech solutions.
There’s a smart water sensor being used to control water quality, which is vital because administrators usually base decisions about the presence of people at mooring berths and waterflow rate to the marina.
As well as this, a smart security module also plays a pivotal role in the network, detecting the sea surface and height to reach the port. It uses a liquid level and presence sensor probe. Meanwhile, the smart cities tech – consisting of temperature and humidity sensors – monitors weather conditions.
Sammy has developed an online contact and mechanism aimed at improving the way the marina is run. It provides information on nearby areas and services for both tourists and boat crews.
The firm wants the marina application to become a popular communication and information tool for skippers, marina managers and vessel crews. It’s available to smartphone and tablet end-users for free on Android and iOS.
Ioannis Kostopoulos, CEO of Sammy, said: “This way the marinas provide important information to the yachters; the marinas administrators have a clear view of the status of the berths, improving this way the quality of the services and the scheduling of the yachting trips.”
Speaking to Internet of Business, Globalstar’s director of marketing EMEA Gavan Murphy detailed how IoT can help ports.
“At Globalstar, we see first-hand how technology that leverages IoT can meaningfully help businesses of all kinds improve their operations. IoT can certainly play an important role in optimising operations in the ports sector, and in the maritime space spanning all kinds of applications including marine tourism and commercial fishing.
“We recently announced that Shell is benefiting from IoT asset tracking enabled by our satellite network, helping them to keep close tabs on their high-value assets in the Netherlands both on land and offshore. As their valuable cargo, including engineering equipment, move in and out of ports, thanks to satellite IoT tracking, they know exactly where their assets are and can accurately predict when they will reach their intended destination.
“Satellite-enabled IoT tracking is currently helping hundreds of vessels, including those involved in fishing, to run their operations more safely and cost-effectively. Knowing where your assets are – even if they travel beyond the reach of mobile networks – additionally helps prevent theft, which is important in a busy marine or tourism environment. And of course in the yacht-charter or yacht-racing markets, owners and organisers need to know where vessels are at all times. This is greatly helped by extensive satellite coverage beyond GSM.”