Touchscreen Sonar and Navigation Device for Anglers


A major marine electronics manufacturer was developing what it envisioned as the industry’s most powerful sonar and navigation device for recreational and professional anglers worldwide. The sophisticated device would incorporate an intuitive interface and quick menus, as well as an integrated web browser, online PDF manual reader, tide and current charts, sun and moon data visualization, a timer/stopwatch, a fuel indicator, and integration to a third-party audio system. The product also would also allow users to seamlessly switch between physical keypad and touchscreen control, making it easy to target prey and navigate when conditions are dry or wet.

In the early stages of the project the company selected Qt on Yocto embedded Linux for application development and started creating the user interface. With only limited Qt experience, they called ICS in for assistance to ensure they would stay on track.

Major Challenges

Our client had a talented and highly productive team of industrial designers who created beautiful designs for the user interface. In fact, they filled the pipeline with a huge number of screens and dialogs — too many for the company’s own developers to quickly implement. They needed a little boost from experts with more Qt experience.


Initially, the client used older QWidget technology within Qt to create an iPhone-style touch user interface. To accelerate development, ICS introduced them to QML and showed how fast a designer’s mockup could be transformed into an identical-looking, working user interface. Though somewhat hesitant to embrace the newer QML technology, the client agreed to let ICS develop most of the remaining user interface in QML while keeping the existing QWidget code. This arrangement supported speedy development while freeing the client’s software team to focus on the backend.


Working in synch, ICS and our client kept product development on track. Today, anglers worldwide rely on the market-leading device for their fishing and navigation needs.