A marine technology group has begun a crowd funding campaign for an on board data sharing device that will allow users to connect to mobile devices and the cloud.

UK-based Digital Yacht Ltd., a company specialising in marine technology, has begun a crowd funding campaign in an attempt to develop an on board data sharing gateway called iKommunicate for use with the Signal K open source data exchange platform.

The group is raising money on the crowd funding website Kickstarter and has raised more than half of its $20,000 goal just days into the campaign.

Both the iKommunicate device and the Signal K open-source platform are in development and designed to interface directly with the widely-used NMEA data system. NMEA allows on board devices like GPS, instruments, chart plotters and autopilots to communicate with each other.

Signal K and iKommunicate will allow tablets and smartphones to connect to the NMEA system more easily and will provide Cloud connectivity, according to the group. Digital Yacht pledges that the funds raised on Kickstarter will “open up the ‘closed’ world of traditional marine electronics to web and app developers, so that they can provide boaters with a greater choice of powerful and innovative apps and services.”

The campaign closes on 15 December, 2015, at 1700 GMT.

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