By Casper Kleiman, Product Marketing Manager at VBH
Luxury yachting is a wonderful way to spend your time, offering unique pleasures whether alone or sharing your boat with friends and loved ones. A yacht is the ultimate getaway and your private home from home. How else can you visit remote places, enjoy so many waterborne activities and spend quality time with loved ones without interruptions or distractions?
Building your own yacht is the ultimate expression of this lifestyle, giving you an unrivalled opportunity to create something that seamlessly matches your own personal preferences. Your choices determine the size, functions and layout, and let you select the finest, most luxurious materials, designs and technology available.
The wonders of tech
In today’s world, technology permeates everything. It shapes our lives and the way we work, relax and have fun. Technological developments are advancing faster and faster, and providing ever-more possibilities in terms of comfort, ease of use and enjoyment.
Yacht owners and their teams rightly tend to prefer the latest and best technologies – the biggest screens with the highest resolution and contrast, the loudest speakers, the most advanced lighting systems. They want the ultimate in luxury, which requires the most exclusive products in the world.
Making sure all these products, possibilities and systems are properly connected, fully integrated and functioning as they should requires great skill. High-level AV and IT design must be combined with an excellent understanding of hardware integration within yacht interiors and outstanding user experience design. Having everything come together just right is a specialist art.
The comfort of familiarity
With yachts, especially those being chartered, reliability and ease of use are also crucial. You expect your boat to always be ready for owners or guests, with no issues that might negatively affect the pleasure of those who come aboard. In a nutshell, being sure that everything works simply and works well.
Achieving this requires the use of proven technology – perhaps not the absolute latest, but certainly predictable and free of bugs. You know exactly how to use these applications as they are familiar and give you exactly what you expect. A system based on known technology, systems and interfaces ensures stress-free, comfortable living for the people on your yacht. This, too, is a vital part of luxury.
And therein lies a dilemma: What’s more important, endless possibilities or absolute peace of mind? What should we focus on: the newest and finest technology or well-known comfort? Choosing the best in technology – depending on the owner and their lifestyle & preferences – can deliver a unique, flawless experience based on totally new products and distinctive combinations. This is one reason why the superyacht industry is so exciting!
Of course, this requires crews to be highly educated and experienced in working with the latest equipment, as they are likely to encounter the new issues, bugs and malfunctions which are typical for very recent equipment. This can be acceptable as long as any issues are solved quickly and decisively.
The other option is to go for predictability and use familiar systems, proven technologies and known hardware. The advantage of this approach is that you know exactly what you are getting and how it works. The systems are easier to incorporate on a yacht, as they have been in the past. You know what the end result and performance will be, and how the solutions need to be integrated within the yacht. The resulting comfort provides a different but equally tremendous feeling of luxury.
There is a drawback here, however, in the sense that you won’t necessarily be benefiting from the most recent and more advanced solutions. In other words, you might not be enjoying everything the market has to offer.
Ideally, you would have the best of both worlds. Combining what’s new and what’s predictable is hard but not impossible. However, bringing together the latest tech with the most reliable, robust and easy-to-use solutions does require a special kind of innovative mindset.
The way to solve this riddle and find a way to achieve both objectives at the same time is to innovate. This has been the source of many pioneering concepts in the past, like linking all on-board systems to an IT network, moving from physical to virtual machines or concentrating several functions in one remote rather than having multiple remotes.
Superyachts and innovations
Superyachts are unique in the sense that they have numerous systems which all need to interact within a close-knit environment. The constant push to make things more compact, more powerful and easier to use is a major driver of innovation. It forces everyone involved to think ahead, resulting in new and undreamt-of possibilities.
The ultimate goal of technology integrators is to balance the desires of owners, crew and builders related to the use of technology. Everyone has their own philosophy of comfort and their own criteria for what represents luxury. We believe that everyone has a fair point. That’s why we love the challenge of bringing together new technologies and possibilities, while making them easy to use and service. The resulting user experience should be smooth and pleasant for owners, crew and builders.
In the end it's all about balance: matching new possibilities with familiar ways of working. If you do this with end users in mind, you're bound to find a few innovations along the way. And that will result in even more true luxury technology on yachts.
If you’re interested in what a technology upgrade could do for your yacht, please give us a call: +31(0)20 799 3700 of firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear what you’d like to offer your owner and guests – and can work with you to make that a reality down to the smallest details!