NEW Boating Product. Looking for feedback.

DazeOffDazeOff Seaford, NYPosts: 155Member ✭✭✭
Hello everyone. My company is thinking about marketing a product to boaters and I thought I would ask members of this forum for their opinion. We have a patent on a wireless, battery powered smoke detector that connects to a 24 hour monitoring center using cellular networks. If the unit detects smoke, it triggers a notification to the central station which can call a list of numbers on file and/or call out the fire department instantly. This was originally designed for home owners / renter who don't have a monitored home alarm/smoke detector which is more than 75% of the population. Another focus was for pet owners since tens of thousands of pets die each year from smoke inhalation. They can't call 911 and can't get out of the house.

Now for the boaters! We want to add additional monitored devices like a high water & temp sensor for the bilge and CO sensor in the cabin with the option of a self contained video camera with motion detection. The phone App will let you monitor your vessel in real time and you can instantly be notified if any of the sensors are tripped. For example if your boat starts taking on water and the bilge pump fails the high water sensor will send an alert. If someone comes onto your boat in the winter when it's shrink wrapped or enters the cabin in the summer, it will send you an alert and a recorded video clip of the event. You can also log into the camera in real time to check things out. Same goes for the smoke detector but in addition to notifying the owner we can also dispatch the fire department if you can't be reached. Several more options will be available including GPS location to track your boat. This may be a good option if you're on the boat and the CO sensor trips while your sleeping. Carbon Monoxide takes effect quickly and having your location can help police and USCG pinpoint the vessel instantly.

I know there are devices already available that may be similar but they all seem to required power and aren't usually monitored. Price also seems to be very high for the hardware I've seen so far. We're looking to market to all boat owners not just the ones with deep pockets. 

Here are my questions:

What is your first impression?
Does the monitored smoke detector appeal to you as a stand alone product/service?
If yes, how much would you pay for the hardware and how much per month for 24/7/365 monitoring?
What add-on sensors appeal to you most? high water, CO, Temp (freezing), camera, what else?
What's the most you would pay up front for hardware?
What would you pay per month for a monitoring of all services with access to the App and camera feed...?
What else would you like to see in this type of service?

Thank you in advance for your honest feedback. If anyone is interested in helping us enter the marine marketplace, please PM me your contact info and we will put you on our list. When we're ready for testing and marketing, free units will be shipped to participant of our focus group. Thanks again.


  • jme097jme097 Algonac, MIPosts: 1,156Member ✭✭✭
    I think it would be a potentially great product if it for sure had a high water alarm and camera access. During the week when at work I do often wonder how the boat is (as I am sure many other people do as well). Just the added sense of security would be great especially if it would be available via a smartphone app!
    Boat Name: Knot A Worry
    2007 280 Rinker Express 6.2L B3
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 5,967Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, added security would be great.
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,020Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Handymans342 Now wait, all you have to do is turn your head 45 degrees when your in the pool, hot tub, bedroom, kitchen,  if there's smoke, well  :D
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 5,967Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    And at night????
  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 3,487Moderator mod
    And at night????
    Handy you sleep???? 
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA.
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Cape Coral, FLPosts: 5,967Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very well
  • DazeOffDazeOff Seaford, NYPosts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for your feedback. Every bit helps.
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 2,379Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    As you say, most products like this are marketed to high-dollar yachts.  I've never seen a system that makes financial sense for folks in the under-40-feet crowd.  

    Battery-operated is nice because the installation could be easy and visually unobtrusive.  

    For me, I have free wifi in the slip, so I wouldn't want to pay extra for a cell-based service.  

    With motion detection, you need video fencing to limit the detection area.  Otherwise, the false alarm rate is too high, and the system will get ignored.  A security camera needs to capture the entire scene, such as the cockpit and the dock, but it can't send a false alarm every time somebody walks past on the dock.  

    Just ask my slip neighbor Jimmy:  after the first 20 times he received video of me walking down the dock making obscene gestures at his camera, he stopped paying attention.

    I'd be interested in alarms for smoke, heat, high water, loss of power, or if somebody starts the engines.   
  • DazeOffDazeOff Seaford, NYPosts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    @LaRea I agree, that the camera will need to be fenced off the right way to prevent false readings. During winter months I think the cam is a home run. Anybody tries to get into the shrink wrap and you have them on camera. FYI, the camera will be both wifi and GSM capable but we will keep the smoke and other sensors strictly on GSM because wifi is not dependable in most areas outside the home, especially if the marina didn't pay extra for a dedicated IP address or connection issues because of nameservers for dynamic IP's. 
    Do you think you would be willing to pay about $20/month for complete 24/7 protection / monitoring and access through your smartphone? We're also trying to keep overall hardware cost below $500 for the entire package with all sensors. We would even offer an option where the cost of the hardware can be bundled into the monthly monitoring until paid off like cell phones. What do you think?
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