I am extremely saddened to report that Garmin has acquired Vesper. This marks the beginning of the end for the Vesper I love.
Vesper has made some incredible gear—including the very innovative and ground-breaking Cortex—on which I’ve depended for years. What’s more, their support is first-rate, and they are unusually receptive to feedback and improving their products.
I’ve been a fan-boy since my purchase of the XB-8000 AIS Transceiver in 2018. Vesper did things thoughtfully and intelligently.
When these things happen, there’s inevitably talk of benefits for customers (“synergy,” “integration,” “impact”), nothing will change, Garmin will be hands off, won’t shake things up, etc. etc. Except it never plays out like that.
I predict that in the next three years:
- Vesper support will become nearly non-existent, and non-contactable. This is a “cost center” Garmin has expertly shut down in other acquisitions as well as its own operations.
- The app and firmware release cycles will slow dramatically, and contain very little innovation or actual improvements. Big corp risk aversion will take over. Incorporation of end-user feedback will slow or halt altogether. Software bugs will linger.
- Use of Vesper products will require the creation of and logging into a Garmin account. (This exact thing happened with the Navionics acquisition.)
- Garmin will try, in one form or another, to encourage or require a recurring subscription in order to use Vesper products.
Goodbye, Vesper. It was nice knowing you. Thank you for everything over the years. You’ve been great, and you’ll be missed.