Modules, Connectivity

MetaSail: High Seas Meet High Accuracy

Regatta sailing may be the most beautiful and elegant sport in the world, but it is also one of the most difficult to spectate.  Whether you are watching from the water or the shore, sailboat races are full of invisible boundary lines. Because of its challenging backdrop, sailing stands to benefit from an affordable and implementable tracing solution.

That is where MetaSail comes in. Created by Italy-based medical device and software company Meteda, the MetaSail’s sailboat tracking solution combines resilient hardware with a friendly and accessible web-based interface. And the solution’s audience is growing: more than 1,200 users tuned in to track the 2019 Laser European Cup Italy through the event’s online dashboard.

Smooth Sailing Solution

With packages starting at only 500 Euros, MetaSail enables race-governing bodies to rent or purchase tracking devices for distribution to sailors and key checkpoints in the race—typically buoys. The connected devices are waterproof, able to operate in severe weather conditions, have a battery life of up to four days of continuous operation, and are preprogrammed to switch on automatically when the race begins.

Managed remotely, they convey one GPS position every second, allowing race authorities, family members, and fans to watch the race in real-time on MetaSail’s striking web interface. The dashboard combines data received from MetaSail’s hardware solutions on the racing vessels, buoys, and officials’ boats to create an interactive map, providing viewers with an accurate (within two meters) picture of the unfolding race. Using only the boat tracking data, MetaSail can calculate wind direction, shifts, and the ranking in real time without additional instruments.

The dashboard is helpful for reviewing race details following the competition. Sailors can see the routes they took, analyze their mistakes, and compare data against their competitors.

It is a great debriefing tool for coaches and allows sailors to gain a wider perspective of the race than is possible from their boats.

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

Finding a Comprehensive IoT Partner

While Meteda is a leader in the design and production of advanced hardware and software in the medical field, the company recognized a need for expertise from a few key partners when designing an IoT-connected solution like MetaSail.

Meteda was concerned about finding key communication hardware, software, and IoT data plan building blocks. 

A blurry image of a light trail on a black background.

“Given our history of designing connected products for telemedicine, we knew choosing a partner that could provide an all-in-one IoT solution would help us get to market sooner. Otherwise, we would lose time managing communication between several companies.”

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

After researching the market, Meteda selected Telit as their all-in-one IoT partner.

“Telit has everything we need, their selection of IoT hardware communication modules and cellular connectivity data plans perfectly complement the design expertise we have in-house, and their IoT platform ties everything together seamlessly.”

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

MetaSail trackers transmit data via cellular connections, so Telit’s expertise dovetailed well with the solution’s needs. Meteda’s engineering team built the MetaSail devices around Telit’s GPS module and xE866 family of cellular modules, designing a compatible antenna and physical structure.

The Telit SIM card allows the solution to operate almost anywhere in the world with international roaming that is affordable and reliable—two values that are especially important to MetaSail’s target customers.

Another advantage we got from Telit’s SIMs is that they’re able to distribute connections across cellular networks to avoid overload, During a race, we might have 600 devices in a small area, so managing those connections without losing one is vital to our success.

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

Because Telit’s hardware allowed the company to switch modules in and out of low-consumption power mode, they can stretch battery life to last through a weeklong regatta.

The Telit IoT Platform links data to the cloud, where it is aggregated in the MetaSail software and can be accessed through a simple web link.

Two people sitting on a sailboat in the ocean.

“That is a big advantage over our competitors, we wanted to create a plug-and-play solution that did not involve extra work for sailors—like changing a battery in the middle of a race.”

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

“Thanks to our partnership with Telit, we are very happy with the dependability and easy-to-use interface of the MetaSail product, and our customers are, too.”

Nicolas Antonelli, Project Manager, MetaSail

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