C_wiz: for total recall

Low cost, high performance vessel monitoring for Microsoft Windows

"Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas."

- Admiral Hyman Rickover


Major Upgrade

Build 2007112515

Enhanced Google Earth Interface

Frame Grabber

No Chinese Walls

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Build 2007112515

This build includes major improvements in the Google Earth interface, a full blown video capture capability and the removal of internal "Chinese walls" that results in a more intuitive user interaction with the product.

Map Subsystem Enhancements

View a 5 minute video clip on these enhancements:

Click to view video of the Map Subsystem enhancements Click to view video of the Map Subsystem enhancements

The Google Earth interface in build 2006112507 provided the ability for C_wiz to launch an instance of Google Earth then, on this instance:

o Overlay C_wiz charts at a user defined translucence.

o Display C_wiz vessel voyage tracks with user defined properties.

o Use GE navigation control to vary view properties.

This was rather primitive, requiring the presence on the screen of 2 "map windows":

o C_wiz Map subsystem so that the user could interact with C_wiz map data to control map related functionality.

o Google Earth so the user could view the results.

With build 2007112515, Google Earth is seamlessly integrated into the C_wiz Map subsystem so only 1 "map window" is required.

At the click of the C_wiz Map subsystem [GEtoggle] menu the Google Earth render window is "toggled in" to the C_wiz Map subsystem or "toggled out" and returned to Google Earth.

When Google Earth is "toggled in", the user can interact with the Google Earth representation of the C_wiz map data inside the C_wiz Map Subsytem in much the same way as before the Google Earth interface existed.

These interactions include the ability to control all mouse actions when the mouse cursor is on the Google Earth render window, for example:

o Read latitude and longitude at the mouse cursor location - a "so what!" bit of functionality that requires some inordinately complex coding and is also the basis for much of the more sophisticated user interactions. Look closely at the above figure - at the bottom is the latitude and longitude of the cursor as known to Google Earth, in the caption at the top is the latitude and longitude as known to C_wiz.

o Double left click to toggle C_wiz chart boxes on (or off).

o Move the mouse cursor over a corner of a C_wiz chart box to highlight the chart box, as per the following figure.

o Left click the corner of a chart box while it is highlit to cause the relevant chart to be overlaid on Google Earth, as per the following figure:

 

o Toggle historic vessel track traces on by clicking the C_wiz Map subsystem [traceOn] menu.

o Right click in the vicinity of a historic vessel track trace and cause C_wiz to find the vessel and time that corresponds, as per the following figure:

o Double right click to bring up the C_wiz Map subsystem pop-up menu, as per the following figure:

o Set an origin from the pop-up menu which results in a "rubber band" distance tool similar to the Google Earth Ruler tool, as per the following figure, noting that the location information in the caption has changed to northing /easting /(direct distance /bearing) from the origin previously established:

o Left click a C_wiz vessel or fixed focal point to launch the focal point's memo, as per the following figure:

o Double left click a C_wiz vessel focal point to toggle it in or out of being the "panning vessel". When a "panning vessel" is defined the C_wiz Map subsystem automatically pans to keep the vessel in the viewable area.

o Right click a C_wiz vessel or fixed focal point to launch the focal point editor, as per the following figure:

o Double right click a C_wiz vessel or fixed focal point to toggle it in or out of being the origin.

o Hit the F1 key to toggle C_wiz Test Drive on (or off) then observe the mouse tooltip that appears when the mouse cursor hovers anywhere on the Google Earth render window, as per the following figure:

As a by-product, it is also possible to have both the C_wiz Map subsystem and Google Earth "map windows" on the screen and interact with the C_wiz map data in either window with appropriate responses simultaneously appearing in both windows.

Video Capture

View a 6 minute video clip on these enhancements:

Click to view video of the Video Subsystem enhancements Click to view video of the Video Subsystem enhancements

Some present and potential customers have indicated a desire for an integrated video capture capability. The suggested potential uses for such a capability have included:

o Radar sweep capture - many radars have an analog video out option which can be used to drive a remote monitor - or a video capture device.

o Wheelhouse monitoring.

o Engine room monitoring.

o Passenger monitoring.

o Monitoring of patrol boat boarding operations.

In response to these requirements a new C_wiz D3 (data device driver) has been developed which saves video frame grabs (as *.jpg files) from the video stream/s supplied to video devices attached to a PC. Frequency, quality and size of the video frame grabs is user definable. Location, date and time stamps are automatically embedded in each video frame grab to provide an audit trail.

To cover the maximum possible range of video devices the Frame Grabber D3 uses the Multimedia SDK (Software Development Kit) from LEAD Technologies. To quote from the SDK documentation, this allows the creation of "applications that can capture from WDM, native DirectShow including DV, Video for Windows capture devices, control DV devices, etc", in other words just about any video device that you could plug into a modern PC.

The D3 has been tested with various video devices:

o Multi-input frame grabbers - typically a PCI card with several BNC or RCA connectors that will take composite video signals from surveillance video cameras, radar etc. These sorts of devices can typically handle up to 16 composite video signals. Examples are the Euresys and FALCON lines. Appropriate to use these devices when more than 2 video signals are to be handled.

o USB TV tuners - typically a small in-line device with a RCA composite video input and a USB output. Example is the Belkin Hi-Speed USB DVD Creator. Appropriate to use these devices when 1 or 2 video signals are to be handled (any more and you will get USB contention problems). These are a cheap and effective way to add a radar sweep capture capability to C_wiz.

o USB or Firewire cameras - "webcams". There are any number of possibilities here. If you attempt to use too many you will end up with USB or Firewire contention problems.

A companion Frame Grabber Disk Manager D3 has also been developed which enables a user to ensure there is always space available on the disk drive that contains the video frame grabs by, if necessary, deleting the oldest in blocks of 1 hour.

C_wiz itself has been enhanced with a Video subsystem that allows the user to view in real-time, play or plot modes appropriate video frame grabs completely synchronized to all the other data simultaneously captured.

Chinese Walls

C_wiz has evolved to be a quite complex product containing a number of quasi independent subsystems.

Up until now, in an attempt to keep the product as simple as possible from a user perspective (and also keep the coding effort down), essentially only one subsystem at a time was allowed to interact with the user.

So if you started playing a history script then launched the Map subsystem you had to close the Map subsystem before you could stop playing - faintly annoying but not totally repugnant.

This "architecture" really started to show its limitations with the advent of the Video subsystem which would have required [Video] menus in the main C_wiz window as well as the Plot and Map subsystems.

So the "Chinese walls" have been torn down and the user can, in the main, jump between subsystems at will. This has required a major investment in time (primarily testing) but the result is a much more intuitive user experience.

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