KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) has introduced the maritime industry’s Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity as a Service program using global VSAT communications.
KVH Watch™ is designed as the connectivity solution for remote equipment monitoring and intervention by maritime equipment manufacturers and IoT application providers. With remote monitoring, manufacturers can act in real-time, minimizing expensive service calls and ensuring that their equipment is performing at its peak for the maritime operation.
Leveraging KVH’s end-to-end maritime connectivity service and HTS network, KVH Watch is designed to deliver IoT connectivity in two modes: Watch Flow, for 24/7, machine-to-machine data delivery compatible with all IoT applications; and Watch Intervention, for on-demand high-speed sessions for remote face-to-face support and remote equipment access. The monthly subscription fee includes access to a dedicated IoT VSAT terminal, data delivery, and maintenance.
KVH designed the IoT connectivity solution with cybersecurity as an essential feature. KVH Watch is completely isolated from the vessel’s communications system and will include a dedicated LAN, support for manufacturer VPNs, and multi-factor authentication for remote-controlled access.
Another benefit of KVH Watch for equipment manufacturers is the ability to use Watch Flow to gather real-world performance data for product development. KVH knows this benefit well. Part of the motivation and research for developing KVH Watch comes from KVH’s own experience in monitoring its satellite antenna hardware through IoT connectivity. KVH evaluates performance data on 150+ data channels to power proactive monitoring and rapid resolution for thousands of VSAT terminals onboard vessels worldwide.
Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s CEO, said IoT is essential for maintaining and optimizing complex equipment at sea, but until now, equipment manufacturers have lacked an affordable VSAT IoT solution. KVH followed the successful business model the company established with AgilePlans® Connectivity as a Service to now offer KVH Watch IoT Connectivity as a Service for one monthly subscription fee. Watch Intervention was designed specifically to resolve the problems that IoT remote condition monitoring brings to light. Service visits to ships average $5,000 each, and can be too little, too late.
Now, shore-based specialists can solve more challenging issues with equipment on a vessel in real-time. We have seen the value of IoT firsthand for some time now and have had situations where the company spotted and addressed a problem remotely before the vessel itself saw the issue. KVH believes other equipment manufacturers will quickly see the advantage of that kind of proactive approach.