Intuitive Maritime Navigation

Product Name: Beacon

Topic/problem description

Each year, thousands of boating accidents occur both domestically and internationally, among recreational users and professionals alike. In 2019, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) reported that out of the 4,168 total accidents, the leading contributing factors were operator inattention, improper lookout, and operator inexperience, respectively. While emphasis is often placed on the operator’s failure, the lack of design regarding human factors can be identified as a key issue through the research of all factors affecting the user experience.

Marine navigation is behind compared to other transportation industries such as aviation and road, specifically regarding the application of a coordinated and systemic approach to the use of modern technologies. The improper design of electronic navigation systems is considered a potential threat to human performance and an estimated one-third of all maritime accidents are due to poor equipment design. Many of the issues regarding human error, situation awareness, and poor design could be solved if human centered design practices were properly applied to maritime technology.


Beacon is a Multi-Functional Display which aggregates data from the varying technological instruments aboard vessels into one user interface. Users are able toggle the display views so that they only see the information which is most valuable to them, preventing data overload. The chartplotting function makes navigation and route planning simple and straightforward for even the most novice user. By making intra-app navigation more intuitive to users, Beacon puts the user’s focus back on the water.