I walked away from the Furuno booth at the Miami boat show with a good feeling – I felt like an electronics expert. And I felt like that because in five minutes, with zero instruction and without so much as a glance at the manual, I could competently use their new NavNet TZtouch-enabled multi-function displays (MFDs). I’ve never before come across such an intuitive suite of products that incudes radar, chartplotter, fish fishfinder, AIS, weather and more.
Furuno is the first to bring true multi-touch technology to the marine market – it’s not just drag-and-drop and pick a window anymore – instead, think iPad-like pinch-to-zoom and swipe capability. Furuno combined their TimeZero technology with a true multi-touch MFD and now as soon as your fingers make contact with the screen, taps, pinches and swipes become instant commands. Furuno also kept their RotoKey rotary knob so you have two ways of making selections and adjustments. I was an instant genius.
In addition, free custom apps let you wirelessly view and control TZtouch from any iPhone, iPad, or iPod. That means your iOS device becomes a remote monitor and control system from anywhere on the boat. (Other platforms like Android smartphones and tablets are planned for the future.) TZtouch also has wireless connectivity to hotspots, allowing you to download updates, such as real-time weather data, via the Web. And of course, Furuno still includes their 2D and 3D charts and aerial photos of key areas and harbors – bu now you can move between them faster and easier than ever before.
There are two MFDs in Furuno’s current lineup - the TZT9 (9” display) is $5,695, and the TZT14 (14”display) has a list price of $7,695.