Wärtsilä’s new S.P.E.C.S camera system provides 360-degree ship view

Ship operations could become a whole lot easier with the launch this week of Wärtsilä’s Smart Panoramic Edge Camera System (S.P.E.C.S), technology that provides 360 degree situational awareness, streamed directly to the bridge in real-time.

In addition to eliminating blind spots with digital panoramic cameras located around the vessel, S.P.E.C.S can also provide a birds-eye view of the ship and its surroundings, helping any docking process. The system’s cameras provide a calibrated range grid around the vessel to give precise measurement of distances. Furthermore, it offers an augmented reality view by connecting to the navigation system to assist in identifying targets and potential hazards.

Vessels have become ever larger in size, and the volume of sea traffic is greater than ever before

“Safety is of increasing concern in today’s maritime environment. Vessels have become ever larger in size, and the volume of sea traffic is greater than ever before. With S.P.E.C.S, the bridge crew has a perfect view of what’s going on around the ship at all times. This takes situational awareness to a completely new level, and greatly reduces the risk of accidents and costly damage,” said Sasha Heriot, head of product at Wärtsilä Voyage.

The creators of the S.P.E.C.S system claim it solves challenges such as the spotting of small vessels, the monitoring of tug operations, or the potential inaccuracies of manual docking.

Multiple display and workstation options come with a dedicated software package. The camera pods are designed to cope with the harshest marine conditions, and the system is not reliant on the global navigation satellite system (GNSS).

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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