Boaters now can use cell phones for more than making calls, with MarineWeather, a national service providing wireless access to weather forecasts and buoy data.
MarineWeather is available to Verizon Wireless customers with select “Get It Now” enabled phones. The service allows boaters to obtain seven-day forecasts, current sea conditions, and Marine411, which gives access to local safety, towing and retail numbers.
MarineWeather uses data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is powered by ekkosoft.us, a Newburyport, Mass.-based publisher of marine content for cellular devices.
The service offers customers coastal and offshore text forecasts and advisories for the contiguous United States. In addition, MarineWeather accesses buoy stations to provide a graphic that includes forecasted wind speed and direction, wave height, sky cover, visibility, humidity, rain percentage and inches, barometer, dew point, and air and sea temperatures. It is endorsed by the American Sailing Association.
Ekkosoft.us was launched by tuna fisherman Chris Frosk, who realized the value of being able to access NOAA data on his cell phone. Frosk assembled a group of engineers, software architects and wireless technology veterans to develop the concept.
“Ekkosoft.us’ mission to enhance the wireless phone so that it becomes an indispensable piece of marine equipment to make sailing, boating, sea kayaking and fishing safer and more enjoyable is furthered by making our applications accessible to Verizon Wireless’ Get It Now customers,” said Frosk, in a statement.
Boaters interested in sampling MarineWeather can access a free one-day demo or subscribe for $4.99 a month. Download charges for Get It Now applications vary, and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. www.ekkosoft.com; www.verizon wireless.com