In 1971 the marine electronics game was relatively new and had caught the imaginations of boaters and anglers alike. This is when Fulton Electronics was formed and financed by a handful of local investors in Eufaula, Alabama.
Fulton Electronics designed the first Humminbird depth sounders utilizing Heathkits that were readily available. Moving forward to 1975 and those early Heathkits came to really help off with the Super Sixty.
The Super Sixty was introduced as the first true waterproof depth sounder which meant it could be used in more environments and in more ways. Not long after the introduction it seemed as though every angler had one, and that is probably because it became one of the best selling fishfinders ever made. Though the Super Sixty is now considered a very simple machine, something most cell phones can do nowadays it was the pinnacle of depth finders at the time.
With the success of the Super Sixty Fulton Electronics became Techsonic Industries, Inc when new leadership took over. It wasn’t until 1984 when Techsonic showed off their new LCR series, the father of the LCD (liquid crystal display) units. It didn’t take long for the LCR4ID to take the market by storm, becoming the top selling sport fishing and marine product. Breaking away from the old flasher type units and offering an actual picture was something that seemed so crazy at the time but with just a glance at the unit you knew exactly what was there, that as a true revolution for the industry.
The next few big advancements came throughout the 90s, as electronics in general grew and changed it allowed for new and better marine electronics. The Dimension 3-120 came into the market and showed anglers a 3D view of the underwater environment while the WIDE series showed something else equally impressive. In 1993 Techsonic partnered with Teleflex to create a side-finding computer series known as the WIDE series, this series went off so well Techsonic became a “Teleflex Company”. I remember throughout the 90s and early 2000s the Wide Eye was a staple on my father’s bass boat and still occasionally sees some use.
Coming into the 2000s technology kept pushing on and Humminbird wasn’t far behind. 2002 brought the Piranha series to entry-level anglers and the SmartCast wireless products came out shortly after in 2003. Later in 2003 the Matrix systems came out which provided higher-end anglers with things like GPS, chartplotting, and advanced sonar.
Mid-2004 saw Johnson Outdoors acquiring Techsonic Industries to further their innovations and insight into what might, and will be possible in the very near future. This spirit was obvious early on with Humminbird announcing their Side Imaging technology in 2004, just a few months after taking over. Shortly thereafter Down Imaging hit the scene and has since been introduced in units across the board, giving all anglers the chance to feel like a pro while looking and their Switchfire units, staring down the side-by-side Down Imaging and 2D sonar.
Earlier this year Humminbird showed off their latest and greatest, the Humminbird 360 system. This system is set to completely revolutionize the way we view our water. Humminbird 360 is already winning awards, at the 2012 ICAST the Humminbird 360 won Best in Show, spotlighting the technology infront of the fishing world.