WATCHIT Interview with Tal Duvdevany CEO and Co-Founder

Posted on:
19.06.2024 09:17

WATCHIT is an innovative solution for boat safety navigation.

We met with CEO Tal Duvdevany to learn more about the product and how it can help us as captains,

and prevent avoidable accidents.

Question 1: What is WATCHIT and why was it created?

We started WATCHIT three years ago with a concept. It began with an accident, actually. One of the founders was cruising with a friend. He joined as a guest for a nice day on the water. While they were enjoying a cruise on a nice and elegant boat, they unfortunately crashed into a reef.

Fortunately, no one got hurt in the incident, but there was significant damage to the boat.

When they returned to shore and started investigating, their first thought was, “Why was there nothing to prevent us from making that mistake?

They checked all the navigation equipment, including maps, sonars, and radars, but the boat still led the captain directly into a rock. This didn’t make sense, as modern cars can provide alerts, and airplanes have done so for years. Even expensive boats allowed for potentially dangerous mistakes. This is how our journey began.

During our research to see if a solution existed, we were surprised to find none. We then decided to change that and establish a new safety standard to prevent such accidents.

Question 2: Where does the alert go? Under the boat? Around the boat?

We operate differently. Our concept revolves around the boat having all the necessary sensors, including a map, sonar, radar, and depth sounder. Most modern boats already possess these components. The issue lies not with the sensors themselves, but with the data. Our approach focuses on optimizing the data and providing proactive actions to assist the captain. Presently, most sensors operate in isolation, lacking the ability to share and analyze information collectively.

We collect data from existing sensors, consolidate it into a single database, and use this analysis to identify the most immediate risks for the boat. We construct a Dynamic Alert Zone that adapts according to the boat’s conditions (speed and location). Using this information, we determine which obstacles the captain should be aware of.

Question 3: So it essentially provides real-time alerts on the boat screen?

Yes, we collect real-time data, analyze it in real-time, and provide sufficient time for the captain to prevent accidents. We call it “Stopping Time.” Our computing systems connect seamlessly with the boat’s existing screens, eliminating the need for any modifications. If everything is normal and there is no danger, the system operates in the background without requiring any action from the captain. However, when the system identifies a risk, it displays a pop-up alert on the existing screen, warning the captain of potential dangers to the boat.

Question 4: Do you have integration with current chart plotters?

Yes, we currently work with SIMRAD/B&G, and we are in the process of integration with Garmin and Ray Marine. Soon, we expect to have integration with all leading brands, eliminating the need for an additional screen.

Question 5: What size of boat will benefit most from the system?

This is an interesting question. Initially, we targeted larger yachts, but we soon realized that the system can be incredibly useful for boats of all sizes, including tenders and chase boats. These boats are often very fast and have a long range, leading to a higher frequency of accidents. Today, it’s not about the boat’s size, but the minimum equipment requirements. If you have GPS and a chart plotter on board, we believe our system can be of great benefit.

Question 6: What does the future look like for bareboats and charter companies?

We are currently focused on analyzing the collected data to create AI that can predict accidents before they occur. This analysis can also provide insights into the captain’s behavior while driving, similar to what you find in the automotive industry. When you rent a car today, there’s an application that measures your driving and generates a risk management report. This can be highly valuable for charter companies.

Question 7: So you took inspiration from the automotive industry?

That’s correct. You could say we drew inspiration from the automotive industry, but our solution is tailored to the unique characteristics of boats, which have different ways of maneuvering and different types of sensors. However, we believe that people nowadays expect to have such safety features. It doesn’t make sense to have them in your car, even a non-expensive one, and not in your boat, which is often worth much more. This trend is emerging in the marine industry.

Question 8: How does the installation process work?

We can install our system on a new boat or retrofit it to any existing boat. The installation process is fast and typically takes 1-2 hours to connect our system to the boat’s existing systems through NMEA. While we prefer that the installation is done by our local partners in each location, it doesn’t require any special skills or tools.

Question 9: How can someone learn more about your system?

First and foremost, you can visit our website. Additionally, we are active on social media where we showcase the latest developments and collaborations.




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