B.E.S.T. can be considered a new central nervous system for Benetti’s yachts, reliable, flexible and expandable. A mix of cutting edge technologies, communicating on a single platform to provide integrated services. This complete and modular solution for electronic service on board has been devised from the ambitious challenge of finding a solution that would integrate all the electronic components on board Benetti’s yachts. A truly unified system, rather than the combination of multiple systems. An exclusive product purposely planned and realised to suit the Benetti’s fleet, with an environment specific software, specifically designed for yachting application.
The presence of a one only interface user, the extreme flexibility in the personalisation of the plant and the small size of the devices, result in a significant improvement of the quality of life on board for the owner, as well as for the handling and safety of the boat. B.E.S.T., is a real distributed and capillary elaboration system constituted by a sophisticated central server and by several locally handled devices, controlling the functioning of the numerous services available on board: audio/video for client, TV, Sky TV, climate, telephone, video surveillance, navigation data, internet access, with a network infrastructure enveloping the entire boat and acting as a connective tissue substituting the various cabling typologies previously adopted.
The result? One only plant, sturdy and extremely versatile. A unique system, easy and intuitive, widely customisable, continuously upgradable and updatable according to the customer’s wishes, unbound from any specific brand. It may suffice to know of the internal communication system, able to adjust itself in case of a fault to the devices on board, devoid of any moving parts and fitted with an operative system purposely developed, of the sophisticated controlling software able to transfer themselves from a server to another in case of a breakdown.
Comfort and improvement of the life on board, even before technology, are B.E.S.T.’s immediately perceivable benefits, due to the special care reserved to the interfaces and to the interaction modalities planned and realised to allow for a simple and intuitive use by anyone even without any technical notion.
The fast stages that led to the constitution of a research team and, subsequently to the installation on board of the first prototype, are highlighted hereinafter: in the year 2004 Benetti identifies the ideal partner, Nextwork, an engineering company active for many years in the research and development of telecommunication network and audio/video applications; in the year 2005 the first prototype product was produced, transforming into practical realisation the technological results of the activities of Nextwork's development and experimentations; in the Spring of 2006 the product was installed for the first time on board of the 59m FB240. B.E.S.T. supports the user in the main activities characterising the life on board: the communications, entertainment, and the handling of navigation safety.
Every communication aspect, from telephone up to data transmission, are handled by Best, placing at owners’ disposal and to that of its guests, advanced services configurable through a simple web interface, such as call hunting, paging, locating people, the vocal case, public address, the centralised telephone index, calls automatic rerouting. The system’s flexibility is highlighted through the complete absence of limitations to modality access to internet (VSAT, BGAN, Fleet, HSDPA, UMTS, GPRS, etc.), which, handled in a complete autonomy, optimises navigating on the web, according to costs and availability as chosen by the owner. Furthermore, the yacht’s Wi.Fi cover, being Best’s integral part, provides access to every area on board, both internal and external. In the hypothesis in which the yacht were earmarked to be chartered, the accesses registration system would comply with the maximum privacy criteria without limiting its use in any away.
No holiday would be really satisfying if not accompanied by the emotion of a sound track or by enthralling film images projected on a 100” screen. Likewise, no yacht would be complete without a sophisticated audio/video distribution plant. Yachts, more so than houses, have become places where the owners, and the designers express their fantasy and personality, exhibiting style themes. Places ever so dynamic in which unexpected scenarios just appear, where, even minute detail is studied for the occupier’s comfort, letting technology vanish whilst emotions take over. Technology, in this case, has been provided for by Benetti and by Nextwork, putting on board yachts, equipped with BEST, the most modern memorising concepts and access to digital data.
Each passenger, in the privacy and comfort offered by the cabin, and through a single remote control, is able to accede every satellite and terrestrial television channel chosen to suit the owner and for the yacht operative geographical requirements; or he could opt for the vast digital multimedia library available on board, by selecting whatever would satisfy the passengers’ wishes, from within an audio and video system on demand that contains hundreds of thousands of musical pieces, with covers and playbills automatically handled. Due to a completely modular approach, B.E.S.T., allows the owner to combine to the system, according to its own exclusive taste, video projectors, screens, amplifiers, acoustic diffusers of his preference.
Safety and control
For a better safety on board, the traditional plants of video-surveillance and anti intrusion control are integrated into B.E.S.T., with availability distributed right through the boat: the system is able to alert the crew at any time, for any alarms or anomalies registered by the sensors on board through a simple SMS or a notice on the screen, transmitted in real time. The system allows, furthermore, a complete control of the video cameras on board by co-ordinating their positions, the motion detection and the registration of the images.
Information relative to navigation and to the machine automation plant, is memorised through a capillary web of sensors and used to supply cruising data on guests’ video terminals and technical data on the “touch screen” reserved to machine operator, or to the Captain. It is important that through the communication system, the said data can be transmitted to specific positions on land to allow for the remote control analysis and monitoring. The subjective taste on the matter of personalising the single environments is limitless. Through a simple “touch “ on either the cabin or on the hall’s panel, each guest could opt, either for a welcome scenery with suffuse lighting, ambient music and pulled curtains, or, through the same facility and immediacy, organise a party transforming the atmosphere into that of a typical discotheque, having at their disposal different scenarios based on the handling of different lighting, air-conditioning, audio/video effects and curtains moving.
On the crest of installation success at sea (four yachts as at today) Benetti is continuing to add functionality to its exclusive technology and keeping alive a continuous experimentation cycle, of engineering and access on board new services. The direct contact of the B.E.S.T. team with the captains, the crew and ship-owning surveyors, together with their great flexibility, allow for a gradual and continuous evolution. B.E.S.T. was born to interface with whatever type of hardware is available on the market and it is structured in a way to allow for the insertion of any technological innovation that may be developed over the years. Best therefore does not age: simple software upgrading, often realised in connection with remote control on land, offer the ship owner the added value to use a system that is continually updated, and thus becoming more valuable as time goes by.