FairWind

 

Never say "Good luck" to a sailing racer... in Italian we say "Buona Regata" only to our best opponents... "Wind in its sails" ? With the modern yacht design could be complicated and unproductive, so far... just "Fair wind, buon vento!"

An open technology marine service and graphic user interface.

Introduction

FairWind is more that just a graphical user interface designed to maximize the sailor experience miming the interaction of the commonly used smartphones, tablets and many more marine instruments.
The most notable innovation fostered by the FairWind user interface it’s the ability to add new features thanks to 3rd parties boat applications we call “BApps”. The BApps, as their smartphone counterpart apps, act as a plugin enforcing a shared look and feel. BApps can be developed by anyone thanks to the FairWind SDK. The BApps could be downloaded by a the regular Google Play service, but they need for FairWind main app in order to work correctly.

The screen is divided in three areas.
In the top zone the “context” buttons maintain their behavior but acting differently depending by the BApp as follows:

  • Home button – equivalent to the [ESC] key on a standard keyboard: return to the FairWind main screen. If a BApp page as Alarm, My Data, Boat or Seup is shown, it returns to the app main screen.
  • Alarms: manage alarms managed by the application. For example an Eco Souder BApp can set minimum or maximum depth range as alarms.
  • My Data: show the data saved by the application with file system like features. For example the default behavior in the FairWind main screen is replay NMEA logs.
  • Boat: this button shows some boat static data selectable by a menu. For example in the FairWind main screen the boat page is a checklist with everything have to be renewed on board as the navigation license or the life raft expiration.
  • Setup: show the setup wizard. Each application has its setup wizard, but the FairWind setup screen can access all the setup screens. This feature is motivated by the need to setup applications that are not provided by a web user interface as the native BApps.
  • Info: show the application name, icon and copytight when clicked. The text of the info button is the BApp short name and is represented by its icon.

In the bottom area there is the “priority” button bar. The buttons are connected to BApps and remain assigned independently by the BApp that is currently focused. The priority button bar contains 5 buttons, can be hidden and shown interactively or programmatically and could be customized by the user. BApps can register their buttons to the priority bar, but only 5 at once could be shown, so the user could set with buttons are aggregated and visible.

The main area is located in the middle of the screen and could extend covering the bottom bar. A BApp is “focused” if it is shown and available for interaction in the main area. Boat applications could fully use the main area or this could be not enough. In that case the FairWind GUI provides a slider allowing the BApps to manage multiple pages.