Please select your home edition
Edition
OLAS 728x90

SpotME and OLAS: More innovations from Exposure Lights

by Mark Jardine on 21 Dec 2016 21 December 2016
Exposure SpotMe strobe in hand © Exposure Lights

We spoke to Tom Harrop at Exposure Lights about the Spot Me mini strobe and the OLAS App which they launched at the METS Trade Show in Amsterdam.

Mark: Tom, could you first tell us a bit about the SpotMe mini strobe?

Tom: The SpotMe is designed for dinghy and yacht sailors as a really compact light to be worn on your life jacket or in your pocket, just so you always have something with you, day or night. You just simply squeeze the product, it blasts out a 250 lumen strobe light, which is visible over a 1,000 metres during the day. So, if you are in a troublesome capsize, or someone has just gone overboard and it's rough weather, it's an easy way to pick them out. The strobe is visible for 1km in broad daylight, and for over a nautical mile at night. It's a simple concept; aluminum construction and British made - just a reliable product, so you can get seen day or night.

Mark: What is the weight of this? I know on racing boats a lot of people are thinking about making sure that everything is down to a minimum weight.

Tom: It weighs just 35 grams. Because it's using lithium ion CR123 batteries and LED technology everything is getting miniaturized nowadays, so it's much lower than your average strobe light.

Mark: And here, brand-new, hot off the 3D printer, you have your OLAS system. This seems to be a novel approach to man overboard and ways of dealing with that situation. How does the OLAS system work?

Tom: OLAS is a very cost effective, smart man overboard system. So you're connecting a 'virtual' tag so to speak, essentially a personnel tag or pull light tag to your phone or iPad. You register it, you name your tags, so if you've got multiple crew you can have tags for Tom, Mark and so on. As soon as that tag becomes disconnected from your device, your phone or your tablet, it sounds an alarm, logs the coordinates and gives a really simple, large arrow back to those coordinates. And then as you scroll across, it also gives you a course over ground (COG). So you match your course over ground and arrow back to your lost crew's location and that should bring you back to the coordinates where the man overboard occurred.

The screens give you the coordinates, the time, and your current coordinates, which is the information required by the Coast Guard and Lifeboats when you're calling in a man overboard incident. It also gives you directions on what to say over your VHF; go to channel 16 and then it runs you through the exact distress call protocol, including integrating the latitude and longitude. If you've pre-entered your vessel information it also puts that straight onto the screen. In a time of distress you get confusion, so OLAS is just keeping it really simple, aiding in an effective MOB recovery.

Mark: So effectively using the technology; the Bluetooth and the computing power that's already available in your mobile phone, and then using very cheap hardware and then using the distances involved with an OLAS wristband, when it is a certain distance away from the phone, it will just log that position?

Tom: As soon as the tag gets disconnected from the phone essentially, the phone logs the position coordinates. The tag will lose that connection as soon as it's submerged, so if you've gone overboard then your device immediately activates an alarm. If someone is below decks doing the cooking or putting on the tea, they will instantly know if you've gone overboard, so they can react quickly. Hopefully, they don't have to do a May Day call because they can see you straight away.

Mark: The final product here looks like a combination of your SpotMe strobe and the OLAS system. I know this is in a prototype stage at the moment, but can you explain a bit about that?

Tom: Very much so. We've made the technology from our MOB light, which won the Dame Award three years ago, far more compact so that it can easily attach to a life jacket or in your pocket. It floats and as soon as you throw it into the water it also turns on to its strobe mode. You can use it as a USB rechargeable torch. It also has smart Bluetooth low energy connectivity to your mobile device, so it has the advantages of OLAS, the advantages of MOB technology and water activated strobe technology, and the standard advantages of an LED light, all into one compact unit.

Mark: It's great to see a British company and British manufacturing creating such innovative products, many thanks for your time Tom.

Tom: Thanks you very much Mark, good to see you.

For more information visit http://www.alertandfind.com/ and exposurelights.com/marine-lights

Related Articles

The Harken Tech Team Story begins...
Volvo Ocean Race Lisbon Assembly Period This year Harken will be telling the untold story of our Tech Team behind the hardware of the Volvo Ocean Race boats. The good, the bad, the tough times and the great, we'll share it all with you, starting right here in Lisbon for the assembly period! Posted on 21 Sep
A great family day out
At the TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show 2017 The UK's festival of boating at is a must-do for any boating fan, from dinghies to powerboats and everything in between. There's plenty to do for younger sailing fans too as we discovered this weekend. Posted on 19 Sep
Interview with Andy Rice & Simon Lovesey
About the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2017/18 Mark Jardine spoke to Andy Rice of SailJuice and Simon Lovesey at the launch of the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series 2017/18 about plans for the season and how to encourage more youth sailors to take part. Posted on 16 Sep
A huge year for Lennon Performance Products
New boat, Racewear and championship wins It's been a huge year for Lennon Performance Products. Starting off with displaying the first prototype of the THINNAIR foiling Moth at the RYA Dinghy Show, then Lennon Sails winning the International 14 Europeans and the Moth UK Nationals and Worlds. Posted on 6 Sep
Maritime Heroes
Old Pulteney search for the UK's unsung sailing legends Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered with record-breaking sailing and expedition icons, Olly Hicks and Brian Thompson, to launch the annual Maritime Heroes Awards. Posted on 4 Sep
International Canoe World Championships
David Henshall looks back at the week With a nicely organised final medal ceremony and prize giving, which took place alongside a very tasty Championships dinner, the curtain finally came down on the International Canoe World Championships at Pwllheli Sailing Club. Posted on 29 Aug
We lucky few...
Or Pwllheli reviewed, through a glass darkly To coin the popular phrase from that strange game men play with their balls (and now, even more successfully, ladies too) the 2017 season is shaping up to be a game of two halves. Posted on 23 Aug
Fatigue and its effect on rope performance
Explanation by Paul Dyer, technical manager at Marlow Ropes Paul Dyer, technical manager at Marlow Ropes, examines the effect of fatigue on the performance of rope and rigging. Ropes, like people, suffer from fatigue. Unlike people a good night's sleep does not reinvigorate them. Posted on 18 Aug
Developing sails for the F101 foiling tri
We speak to Hyde Sails' Richard Lovering We spoke to Richard Lovering about Hyde Sails' role in the development of the F101 foiling trimaran. Richard went in to it with almost a clean sheet as it wasn't just a new boat, but also a new concept. Posted on 17 Aug
Clean, emission-free sailing
We speak to Imerys skipper Phil Sharp We spoke with Imerys skipper Phil Sharp about his season so far in the Class 40, and also with Paul Strzelecki about his partnership with Henri Lloyd, and also about Phil's ambition to make his yacht 100% emission-free. Posted on 15 Aug