We recently attended the VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) conference in the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West near Cape Town, South Africa. The event was organised by Stone Three Venture technology.
It was very gratifying the founder of BMC, Captain Keith Burchell, was publicly recognised as one of the founders of the AIS technology.
To quote from the handout:
“VDES is seen as an effective and efficient use of radio spectrum, building on the capabilities of AIS and addressing the increasing requirements for data through the system”
Presentations on the way forward for VDES were given by a variety of speakers, with John Hirst of Senro UK hosting the event.
Apart from the guy next to me having a kip after lunch, the attendees were participatory and this new communication technology has a lot of support in the shipping community.
Compliance issues were discussed at length and this is going to pose a challenge for the international community.
A very informative conference and we look forward to being part of the future of Maritime communications.