Tucked away in a quiet industrial area in Bergen, Norway, a small team is working on a breakthrough capable of transforming the entire shipping industry. The ScanReach office is busy, yet quiet, as a focused group of digital experts, physicists and maritime software developers put the finishing touches to In:Range, a game changing low-power, Internet of Things (IoT) microsensor system.
In:Range does something no other technology can: it transmits sensor-based data through steel, providing a robust on-board emergency response system, tracking the condition and whereabouts of all persons on board in real time. In addition to individuals, the ScanReach technology – based on a combination of frequency control, sophisticated algorithms and protocols – can monitor compartments and hard-to-access void spaces on a ship or offshore asset.
And, as a key enabler for smart shipping, it can also monitor and wirelessly transmit real-time ship operating data (including data from IoT-enabled equipment) to a central control unit on the bridge or special control room.
Not only will it save lives at sea, providing complete awareness of crew whereabouts and movements, it can also be used as a platform for a digitally empowered world fleet. The potential is huge.
Plug and play
"We are sitting on some of the world’s most disruptive safety technology,” comments Jacob Grieg Eide, ScanReach’s Chief Business Development Officer. “There are probably about 100,000 ships and many more offshore assets that could immediately benefit from our wireless, plug and play sensor-based system to transform the safety of people and assets at sea.”
And they could do so, he says, easily, effectively and - without the need for expensive cabling and installation - at low cost. In terms of practical applications for safety, crew members would have individual, wearable personnel tags monitored by a fully redundant meshed network of microsensors. In the event of an emergency on board a ship or offshore asset, their location and condition would become immediately evident, with any absences at muster stations rapidly noted and addressed. Seafarers, contractors, offshore workers, vessel passengers and all other ‘tagged’ individuals would be visible in any situation, in any conditions at any time, regardless of the incident.
Eide’s assertation that “In:Range has the power to create a new safety reality at sea” seems not just plausible, but probable.
Next stop: Nor-Shipping
After almost five years and well over 30,000 hours of research and testing Eide and his colleagues have chosen Nor-Shipping, which convenes in Oslo and Lillestrom this June, as the official launch pad for their business and wireless connectivity platform. The team will be exhibiting in the much anticipated new Blue Economy hall, created to showcase ‘tomorrow’s business solutions today’.
“With so many industry decision makers in one place – networking, learning and doing business with one another – this is the ideal opportunity to showcase the capability of this ground-breaking product to a highly relevant, high quality audience,” he explains.
“What’s more, innovation has always been central to Nor-Shipping. This is the place where maritime, and now the ocean industries too, gather to see the very latest developments and technologies: assessing potential and mapping out future industry impact. In:Range has the power to transform safety, smart shipping and connectivity – it is the future – so we see Nor-Shipping as the ideal stage for its release.
“We’re looking forward to connecting with the industry there in June.”