Maritime publishers Witherbys has put cyber security, flexible access and increased data at the heart of its new ereader software, Witherby Connect, launched today to allow seafarers to access the latest information and guidance instantly and easily. The new software will enable mariners anywhere in the world to continue to reference a library of publications, with the hybrid software delivering more flexibility and security for those working at sea.
Created by Witherbys’ in-house development team, Witherby Connect takes advantage of new technological advances to better answer specific critical requirements for an eBook reader for the marine industry. The programme has been designed with the new IMO requirements on cyber security as a major consideration and, in an increasingly digital world, Witherby Connect will enable access to all major industry publications and guidance.
Witherby Connect was created following the success of the company’s previous ereaders in providing a comprehensive marine library, with the additional benefit of flexibility to use on and offline, while bringing all previously enjoyed search capabilities. The product protects the IP of authors and publishers, is browser based so suitable for use even when internet provision cannot be guaranteed and users can print and copy limited extracts for reference.
Technical Director at Witherbys, Johan Machtelinckx (pictured), said: “At Witherbys we’re always innovating and adapting the way we deliver resources for our customers and strive to provide what the industry needs as it continues to evolve and change.
“We developed Witherby Connect as a browser-based hybrid software, meaning that it would run in web browsers yet behaves like desktop software, with absolutely nothing to install. Office 365 or Gmail are hybrid software that most people would recognise.
“When initially connected to the internet, whether in port or at sea, the browser caches all the licensed publications that are selected, meaning that once the information is ‘cached’, the user does not have to be connected to the internet to view their publications. This is a really good use of recently available technology such as WebAssembly.
“In trials onboard ships over the last three months, we have received feedback that Witherby Connect has been easy to use and ships with download speeds as low as 0.3 Mbps have successfully been able to access Witherby Connect while deep sea.
“By creating products that present genuine solutions to issues faced by mariners, such as poor internet connections or cyber security concerns, we are continuing to help a vital industry to thrive.”
Multiple user licences will be available and resources can be accessed from any device on the ship that is linked to the internet, while the programme ensures less technical support will be required for set up and maintenance.
Based in Edinburgh, Witherbys is one of Scotland’s largest and most successful publishing companies, exporting a portfolio of more 400 specialist titles in the shipping sector to more than 110 countries.