Garmin’s Glass Helm Displays
Aviation buffs call it the glass cockpit – high-tech platforms that feed digital information to flat-panel electronic displays, largely supplanting the traditional jumble of single-function gauges.
On boats, this is called the glass helm, with multi-function displays (MFDs) showing everything from engine functions and systems updates to navigational information and FLIR images.
The next step in glass-helm technology was unveiled today at the Miami International Boat Show. The new GPSMAP 8000 Series MFDs from Garmin offer increased functionality and revamped touch-screen controls, as well as sleek new look.
“The GPSMAP 8000 units are the ultimate in simplicity, ease-of-use, power and speed,” said Dan Bartel, vice president of worldwide sales. “Incorporating the look and feel of a glass helm into the marine industry, the 8000 Series provides a beautiful centerpiece while delivering the most important features and capabilities to the user.”
The new line will include 8-, 12- and 15-inch multi-function displays, all with a more intuitive touch-screen control system and 40 percent more processing power than previous models. A control bar at the bottom of the screen offers instant access to important functions such as waypoint navigation and autopilot.
Garmin has also introduced the GPSMAP 8500 black box series, for larger vessels with more helm space. This lines includes 15- 17- and 19-inch flat-panel, high-resolution MFDs, each with a black box to be installed wherever the user chooses.
A valuable new feature common to both the GPSMAP 8000 and 8500 series is SmartMode station control. With SmartMode, the mariner can customize numerous preset modes and instantly synchronize all displays to show the most desirable screens.
The autopilot can also be controlled on-screen with a quarter- or full-screen autopilot display. This eliminates the need for a separate autopilot control head, preserving the look and feel of a glass helm.
Garmin’s GPSMAP 8000/8500 series is scheduled to be available at authorized retailers in the second quarter of 2013. For more information, visit www.garmin.com/8000.