Marine navigation using Global Positioning System (GPS) and AR

Using augmented reality indoors is nothing new. This emerging technology came a long way from an entertainment novelty to a helpful tool adopted by various industries and serving various purposes, including training and maintenance. The next logical step was to incorporate Augmented Reality into the great outdoors. In an ever-changing world and a society always on the run, combining AR with navigation systems and maps is an awaited breakthrough and its first significant place to shine is maritime navigation.

App in a nutshell

  • Navigation software to provide maps and AR routing at sea
  • Applicable in all sorts of transportation including extreme sports
  • An app designed to display a spatial map on smartphones
  • An innovative routing algorithm for sailors
  • Combining the potential of everyday devices with AR glasses
  • Software to read geographical systems including Google Maps and Mapbox

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More about the app

The client aimed at creating an AR-based navigation system dedicated to maritime uses. The platform is meant to work with special watertight devices and deliver a unique value to people at sea. A breakthrough weather-based algorithm has been created to determine routes for sailors in real-time. Aside from marine navigation, the clients’ aim is to grow further into a wide range of navigation applications on AR wearable devices, dedicated to car, motorbike, and bicycle users, as well as pedestrians, runners, and extreme sports aficionados.

The solution

From VEO Navigation SDK and VEO AR Glasses SK to Xploria

The precise, real-time app is based on navigation software to provide maps and AR routing for outdoor uses. To unlock a functional geolocation potential, the system is meant to be connected with yachts and, prospectively, other machines and vehicles. The app is created to work on various AR devices, including Epson Moverio BT 350 and Vuzix Blade, as well as Android smartphones. The system is meant to determine the North with unprecedented accuracy (a variation of a few degrees), setting routes based on GPS readings.

The VEO Navigation is an Android 6.0+ app written in Kotlin and Unity3D, working in 2D mode and capable of visualizing AR data without the necessity of dedicated devices. Functionalities of VEO Navigation include a vector map system incorporating an extensive database of marine objects and specifications of over 2000 marinas, available in online and offline modes. The weather-based routing function relies on NOAA GFS weather data, working primarily online with offline modes. The application maps nautical routes (available modes: manual, manual + weather routing, and fully automatic) and keeps track of traveled sea routes. 

VEO AR Glass SDK is written in Unity3D to enable real-time visualization of land and water navigation data using AR wearable devices. Being capable of receiving data streams from Rest APIs or local servers, allows it to visualize content on various AR glasses. The inclusion of a 9-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, combining accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to measure orientation and velocity) allows to determine where precisely the user is heading and, using AR, overlay digital content onto the real world.

Xploria is the world’s first navigation system meant to be used with wearable AR devices. A practical combination of proprietary VEO Navigation SDK and VEO AR Glasses SK has been created with the support of European Union projects. The VEO app is a solution for unrestricted travel, whether it’s sailing, daily commute, hiking, driving, or skiing – you name it. App users can navigate with greater ease, no matter their surroundings, as long as there is an internet connection available. Currently, the system is undergoing further development and to be ready to accommodate the influx of travelers yearning for AR to accompany them.

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