AIS is the newest form of safety gear in the world of marine electronics, but now it’s getting personal—with the Safelink R10 SRS, from Kannad Marine. This little gizmo is barely the size of a deck of cards, yet it could save your life if you fall overboard from a boat equipped with AIS. Just how much of an impact could this have on the marine world? Enough that the judges ranked it neck and neck with the top pick for the Safety category in the Miami NMMA Innovations Awards.

The world's first Personal AIS (PAIS), Kannad Marine's new Safelink R10 SRS.

The world's first Personal AIS (PAIS), Kannad Marine's new Safelink R10 SRS.

Putting the “personal” in AIS (shouldn’t we be calling the Safelink R10 SRS a “PAIS”?) is a smart way to harness this system for additional safety purposes, and this unit is designed to be clipped right to your life jacket. It can be rigged to activate automatically, if the life jacket is an inflatable. Once activated it broadcasts your exact GPS position, so you’ll appear on the AIS screen on any vessel within its range of about four miles, as well as that of the boat you fell off of.

While the Safelink R10 SRS doesn’t provide an initial alert to search-and-rescue authorities like an EPIRB, its compact size, low cost, and utility are sure to make it a life-saver. In fact, this unit should make it possible for the crew on your boat to fish you out of the water before those SAR guys can even don their life jackets and fire up their engines. Just remember: your boat has to have an active AIS system for it to work.

The internal battery has a broadcast time of 24 hours, and a seven-year shelf-life. The internal GPS is a 50-channel receiver, and the unit weighs a meager 4.2 ounces.

We saw a lot of cool new electronics introduced at Miami in 2012, and the Kannad Marine Safelink R10 SRS is among the best of them. If you want to boost the safety margin on your boat, it’s time to get personal—with the world’s first PAIS.