Tag Archives: iKommunicate

iKommunicate wants to keep the IoT afloat

iKommunicate is a NMEA to Signal K gateway that connects your marine electronics to the Internet of Things. 

Digital Yacht has unveiled a new interfacing technology for the marine electronics market. With hopes of enabling the Internet of Things while afloat, the team has unveiled an onboard sharing gateway called iKommunicate for use with the Signal K open source data exchange platform.


For those unfamiliar with the nautical world, NMEA is a plug-and-play communications standard commonly used for connecting marine sensors and display units within ships. The protocol has been around for decades, and while reliable and ubiquitous, struggles to adequately support today’s smart devices, not to mention all the data that it produces. However, the tide is a-turnin’ with the introduction of a new open source platform, Signal K, which has been quietly developing over the past few years and is now ready to set sail.

Signal K looks to become the next-gen solution for marine data exchange. Intended to not only be employed for communication between instruments and sensors onboard a single vessel, but also to enable the sharing of information between multiple boats, aids to navigation, ports, marinas or any marine asset. What’s more, it has been designed in such a way that it can be easily implemented by web-based and mobile applications, and can hook boats and ships up the Internet of Things while at sea.


This is where Digital Yacht comes into play. The Boston startup has created iKommunicate, a gateway that links NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 systems to Signal K. This allows existing marine electronics to integrate with the new standard by translating any old NMEA data that a user has onboard from their GPS, engine and equipment to the latest format.

“When you first install iKommunicate, you program the device through a simple web interface with your boat’s data — such as boat name, call sign, MMSI, photo and dimensions. This is a key part of the Signal K schema and allows this data to be used by apps and identifies you as a unique Signal K user,” its creators write.

Digital Yacht’s new device is based around the existing NMEA 2000 (CAN bus) interface along with an Atmel | SMART SAM4E16E Cortex-M4 MCU running at 120MHz with 1MB RAM and a SD slot for extended storage and firmware updates. What’s more, iKommunicate can act as a server so apps can run locally on a web browser for display or configuration, or a smartphone or tablet using a raw feed of data from the gateway.


Signal K will serve as a catalyst for developers to dream up new ideas and applications to make boating more fun, safe and affordable. For its Kickstarter launch, iKommunicate includes some built-in web apps to display navigation data and engine instruments in your browser, making it ready for use right out of the box.

Surely, the Signal K platform is exciting and can make a step change to the boating community. However, like any young protocol, it needs a catalyst of users to seed the interest for developers. The iKommunicate gateway looks to enables this by seamlessly integrating with existing systems, so that you to take advantage of this next generation of applications without changing your onboard electronics.

Interested? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the Digital Yacht team has sailed right past its $20,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in March 2016.

28 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 

Eora 3D


This high-precision 3D scanner is entirely powered by your smartphone, allowing you to capture physical objects and turn them into high-quality digital models. Eora 3D has already well exceeded its goal of $80,000 on Kickstarter.

The Things Network


This crowdsourced, LoraWAN-based IoT network will let developers build smart cities in just weeks. The Things Network is currently seeking $170,036 on Kickstarter.



This DIY kit gives Makers the ability to create and program their own origami-inspired, lightning-fast robots. Dash Robotics is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Revolights Eclipse


This set of wheel-mounted, Bluetooth-enabled bike lights are taking cycling safety to the next level. Revolights has already surpassed its $26,000 goal on Indiegogo.



This intelligent alarm clock/speaker integrates with a variety of apps like Spotify, Uber and Google Maps, as well as smart home appliances. Witti has blown right past its initial Kickstarter goal of $25,000.



This all-in-one, countertop brewing machine makes it simple to craft and experiment with your own beer recipes at home. MiniBrew is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.



This plug-in module transforms your old clunker into a smart car, increasing driver safety, convenience and fuel efficiency. VOYO is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

TinyBoy 2


This affordable, easy-to-assemble 3D printer is geared towards the classroom and encouraging kids to become Makers. TinyBoy is currently seeking $30,000 on Indiegogo.



This connected collar sends real-time location updates directly to an accompanying mobile app, providing you with your pet’s whereabouts via GPS. Nuzzle is currently seeking $75,000 on Indiegogo.

PhoneDrone Ethos


This device gives your smartphone wings, allowing you to deploy your iPhone or Android phone as an autonomous aerial camera. xCraft is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.



This smart, customizable companion goes to sleep with your little one and wakes up with them in the morning, ensuring they stay in bed until it’s time to get up. Remi is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.



This wireless MIDI controller offers access to hundreds of instruments, sound effects and loops by placing it on any acoustic guitar’s surface. Robin Sukroso has already quadrupled his goal of $45,435 on Kickstarter.



This smart car charger not only powers up your electronics at twice the speed of others, it’ll also help you find your car with its mobile app. nonda has surpassed its asking goal of $10,000 on Indiegogo.



This Bluetooth-embedded mug lets you sip your coffee or tea at the perfect temperature for up two hours, or all day when used with its charging coaster. Ember Technologies has already doubled its goal of $50,000 on Indiegogo.



This range of sensors can be placed throughout your home, giving you easy-to-understand information so you can take steps to improve your health. Beagle Sense is currently seeking $50,065 on Kickstarter.



This smart accessory for women emits a loud alarm when pressed, while sending text messages to loved ones with the wearer’s location. ROAR just hit their $40,000 goal on Indiegogo.



This 3D printer empowers families to make their own toys together right from home, with just a press of a button on their smartphone. Sculpto is currently seeking $22,835 on Kickstarter.



This Android computer in the form of stylish headphones lets you play music, launch apps, navigate menus and take pics via its touchpad or voice commands. Optinvent is currently seeking $150,000 on Indiegogo.



This earphones-equipped headband allows you to listen to music as you sleep for up to 13 hours on a single charge. AcousticSheep has tripled its original $10,000 goal on Kickstarter.



The little wearable gadget tracks the number of words your child says and hears each day to help boost their IQ. Starling has garnered well over its $30,000 Indiegogo goal.

Wearable Camera for Athletes


This first-of-its-kind, ultra-light wearable sports camera system is designed for athletes, by athletes, to help gain valuable insight and share cool highlights. Shea Kewin and Tim Priamo are currently seeking $30,962 on Kickstarter.



This portable Bluetooth speaker boasts four full-range drivers in front with two passive subwoofer dishes in the back to provide an audio experience like no other. Matrix Audio is currently seeking $38,682 on Kickstarter.



This smart button gives you a one-touch shortcut to the smartphone features you use most, whether it’s snapping selfies, sending emergency alerts, playing some tunes or triggering voice commands. CLIKI is currently seeking $35,000 on Indiegogo.

ePint Beer Mug


This LED and sensor-laden mug will illuminate your team’s favorite colors whenever they score, as well as light up when you’re in need of a refill. Xtreme Tech is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Goldilocks Analogue


This board is bringing sophisticated audio capabilities to the Arduino environment. Phillip Stevens is currently seeking $5,821 on Kickstarter.



This DIY robot kit features a graphical software interface that lets children learn programming and computational thinking. OhBot is currently seeking $15,475 on Kickstarter.



This on-board gateway and server enables traditional NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 marine electronic equipment to interface with the newly-developed, open source Signal K platform. Digital Yacht is currently seeking $20,000 on Kickstarter.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.