How Bristlemouth Created A New Standard for Ocean Data Collection In 2023

Plus, a look ahead at plans to rapidly expand the Bristlemouth ecosystem in 2024.


In June, the Bristlemouth team launched the open ocean connectivity standard to provide a plug-and-play interface for marine devices. The standard is the first of its kind and was engineered to accelerate marine technology innovation and ocean solutions. The Bristlemouth Pioneer Program was launched to drive rapid Bristlemouth adoption and ocean solution development, while the remainder of the year focused on community growth through the first BristleCon event, various developer-focused webinars, and engaging with our user community.

Let’s dig into the details of each 2023 milestone and look ahead at plans to expand the Bristlemouth ecosystem in 2024. 

Bristlemouth launches Pioneer Program and awards 55+ development kits

In September, the Bristlemouth team launched the Pioneer Program, an initiative that granted awardees Bristlemouth hardware to catalyze development and accelerate solutions for the enormous challenges that face the ocean. In the initial phase, we have received over 85 applications and to date, have awarded 55+ ocean enthusiasts a Bristlemouth development kit and a Bristlemouth-enabled Sofar Ocean Spotter and Smart Mooring.  Innovators from startups, government agencies, nonprofits, research/academia, etc... have joined the Pioneer Program and received complimentary hardware to accelerate their Bristlemouth-enabled projects. Pioneers are actively developing integrations to explore coral reef health, sargassum impacts, underwater acoustics, carbon removal, and other phenomena.

Interested in joining the Bristlemouth Pioneer Program? Fill out this short application to get started. 

“Vesta is dedicated to Carbon Dioxide Removal using Coastal Enhanced Weathering techniques, particularly with olivine minerals. The Bristlemouth hardware is a crucial tool for real-time monitoring of deployment sites, generating data necessary to measure olivine dissolution rates, and CO2 capture, during field trials. The Pioneer Program is a significant step in achieving real-world quantification of the efficacy of Coastal Enhanced Weathering.” - Matt Casari, Vesta
“As a marine biologist studying sharks using eDNA, I hope to use Bristlemouth’s configurable integration capabilities to set up eDNA stations that will record metocean variables which will help us determine how environmental conditions influence eDNA transport, degradation, and therefore detection of sharks via eDNA. I am excited to take on this project through the Pioneer Program and become a part of the ocean innovation community through Bristlemouth.” - Paul Clerkin, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) 

Bristlemouth hosts inaugural BristleCon at Sofar Ocean to expand community

In November, Bristlemouth hosted the inaugural BristleCon at Sofar Ocean’s Pier 28 headquarters in San Francisco. The two-day event united over 150 Bristlemouth community members and developers in person and online. 

The event featured diverse panels of ocean experts spotlighting Bristlemouth users like Aqualink and Blue Endeavors, plus keynote presentations from MBARI, ONR, and Michigan Technical University. Attendees also enjoyed a developer-centric track offering hardware integration sessions, interactive workshops using the Bristlemouth standard, and peer-to-peer collaborations. Live music, happy hours, and an exhilarating toy boat race capped off an action-packed two-day event.

Missed BristleCon? Access the livestream recordings here.

State and Future of Bristlemouth Presentation with Sofar Ocean CTO Evan Shapiro
Bristleboat Regatta at BristleCon 2023
Developer Collaboration with Pioneer Program Participants

Bristlemouth fosters rapid community growth and developer collaboration 

Bristlemouth’s success is closely linked to the strength of our community. Collaboration between members expedites the adoption of the Bristlemouth standard and creates a ripple effect, with new integrations catalyzing development of ocean technology solutions. 

In just six months, the Bristlemouth community welcomed 125 active Bristlemouth forum users on Discourse, saw 75+ clones on GitHub, and experienced a surge in attendance at our Developer Q&A webinars. We expect this rapid community growth to continue in 2024. 

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of this innovative program and are looking forward to collaborating with fellow ocean technology enthusiasts. By providing us with accurate and reliable data, Bristlemouth will enable us to develop more efficient and effective models, leading to improved decision-making and ultimately, a more impactful and optimized approach to kelp farming.” - Apoorva Sinha, Ocean Access

Bristlemouth to expand Pioneer Program and kickstart Accelerator in 2024

In 2024, the Bristlemouth team will focus on growing the Bristlemouth community and expanding use of the standard across marine applications and integrations. Specifically, we will: 

  • Grow the Bristlemouth Pioneer Program: We will welcome new projects into the ecosystem, from underwater carbon sequestration to shark tagging, so apply now at
  • Kick off the Bristlemouth Accelerator Program for ocean entrepreneurs: This one-year program will offer mentorship, developer workshops, hackathons, and the opportunity to receive funding and/or prize money to support the next generation of advanced ocean technology. Apply now at
  • Expand support for existing Bristlemouth-enabled projects: We will offer increased resources for ongoing Pioneer Program projects, including technical assistance and support via the Bristlemouth forum, GitHub, webinars, workshops, and developer support guides. We will spark further collaboration and conversation by sharing insights, engaging with new ocean innovators, and fostering collaboration among community members across these dedicated platforms. Join the Bristlemouth community and share your progress and experiences on the Bristlemouth forum and Github.
  • Bring the Bristlemouth community together at virtual and in person events: We will host additional workshops, hackathons, and conferences, including the second annual BristleCon, to connect the community and create opportunities for networking and learning. Interested in planning or hosting a regional event, workshop, or hackathon? Email us at
  • Continue amplifying Bristlemouth's message throughout all networks. Find us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community and strategic partners. Together, we have made significant strides toward revolutionizing the way we collect and understand ocean data. Thank you for being a part of the Bristlemouth journey!