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Insight: Product innovation in the superyacht world

Business
Written by
Gemma Fottles

Every year, scores of new products emerge for the superyacht industry. Indeed, several shows and events around the world such as the annual METSTRADE show in Amsterdam is a perfect representation of this, showcasing a huge variety of superyacht products ranging from the everyday to the truly extraordinary (get a closer look at some of the coolest products at last year’s METSTRADE on the SuperYacht Times Vlogs - available on our YouTube channel!). But with so many products emerging to try and suit the altering demands of our multifaceted industry, what is it, exactly, that makes a product truly innovative?

The most important thing to remember is that innovation, at its very definition, is a new method idea, or product. Big or small, mind-bogglingly game-changing or just slightly more efficient, innovation is rife. Products are oftentimes the unsung heroes of the superyacht business, and perhaps the sector of the business with the most room for innovation, with even the smallest new invention sometimes working wonders in terms of improving the day-to-day experience of the superyacht lifestyle. Whether that is by providing amazing new features to enjoy the best-quality entertainment easily wherever you are on board, improving peace of mind with heightened security and privacy measures, or enabling excited clients to explore their yacht before her build has even started using the latest virtual reality technology.

The products we’ve selected here are great examples of venturing beyond what already exists, all shaped by the latest technological developments - time spent on board a superyacht is a precious luxury, and, indeed, all of the products outlined in this feature work to save the owner time, money and energy - directly or indirectly. So, with this in mind, read on to see our round-up of some of our favourite innovative products to emerge from the superyacht industry recently. 

Explore by YachtEyeOculus Explore infotainment system

Explore is a brand new module in Oculus’ infotainment platform, YachtEye. Explore enables you to ‘explore’ your superyacht by experiencing it in another dimension. Starting with a 3D representation of your yacht, Explore reveals all of the treasures which are hidden on board your yacht. For example, Explore can take you in three dimensions to the engine room, the tender garage and on a round trip through all decks, helping to you to see all of your assets onboard your superyacht. A boundary-pushing product which is closely linked to Oculus’’ background in both large and small-scale design-focused AV innovations, Explore provides you with the key to a true adventure: seeing your yacht in another dimension from the comfort of your sofa. As for YachtEye itself, this is a popular entertainment solution for superyachts enjoyed by guests, providing the owner with sophisticated personalized information about their yacht, assets and surroundings. With more than 80 installations on 65-metre plus superyachts to date, YachtEye truly enables you to create the ultimate yachting experience. 

  • The first and only solution to explore your yacht in full detail 

  • Fully customisable to your wishes

  • Real-time information about your yacht, assets & surroundings

  • The interactive solution for owners who dare to go further 

E: peter@oculustechnologies.nl 

W: www.yachteye.com/explore

Kymeta flat panel antennasKymeta flat panel antenna
With their rapid connectivity speed, easily-integrated, lightweight designs and silent operation, Kymeta’s flat panels and terminals from e3 Systems can bring many benefits to the superyacht owner. The flat panel antennas are software-controlled and electronically-steered - with no moving parts - and represent the world’s first ever metamaterials-based antenna. Offering all on board seamless connectivity, the antennas are easily scalable, are almost maintenance-free and are future-proofed for the next-generation of LEO and MEO satellites. The antennas’ flat, sleek design means they can be discreetly and conveniently surface mounted, or easily recessed into the superstructure of yachts, making the antennas virtually invisible and easy to integrate into your vessel: a fact that could have a radical effect on the future design and architecture of superyachts. The antennas are available in two types: the single panel solution - available now - and the multi-panel solution - available in the second quarter of 2018. Utilising Ku-band satellites, the single panel option works across the Mediterranean and from Rhode Island to Trinidad, with the multi-panel solution offering seamless connectivity across the Atlantic. The panels come with 12 months KĀLO™ service which can be augmented by flexible bandwidth packages from other service providers.

  • High connectivity speed

  • Fast, dynamic tracking for seamless connectivity

  • Future proofed for next-generation LEO and MEO satellites

  • Sleek, lightweight design

E: info@e3s.com
W: www.E3s.com

PowerRay underwater dronePowerRay underwater droneThe technological innovations in terms of photography and videography have progressed exponentially over the past few years, the result of which means that now, almost everybody has the opportunity to create and produce truly incredible amateur photo and video content with the help of their equipment. The latest development - designed with superyachting in mind - is the PowerRay underwater drone. The new must-have for every yacht, the PowerRay from YachtCloud allows owner, guests and crew to inspect the underwater world around the yacht. Of course underwater filming is not new, but with the ability to control the PowerRay from the comfort of the beach club, for example, is an altogether different experience. Taking underwater images of the family jumping in and out of the sea, or diving to the depths, allows even the grandparents to be involved with the active side of superyachting, offering a true family experience. She can be used in many different settings and is simply unrivaled in features and performance. 

The unique PowerRay is the latest cutting-edge product to be added to the YachtCloud portfolio who can deliver this innovative underwater drone at the push of a button to any destination worldwide making sure you can look back on even more superyachting memories for years to come.  

  • "Best of CES 2017" Award Winner now available through YachtCloud

  • Must-have drone for yachts

  • 4K underwater inspection

  • VR controlled

E: sales@yachtcloud.eu

W: www.yachtdrones.eu 

VBH PulseVBH Pulse infotainment systemVBH Pulse is a standalone infotainment solution for enjoying multimedia content on board your superyacht. The product includes an interactive on-screen interface and a control system and offers a stable and quick performance, together with a sleek design and a user-friendly interface. A bespoke platform, thanks to its modular structure, it is possible to customize the system according to wishes of each individual user. Whether it’s movies and TV series, music, radio channels or live TV programs, Pulse can offer all of the above. Users can mix and match modules to get a fully-personalised system which is designed specifically for your yacht. Furthermore, Pulse harnesses a refined algorithm to make personalised content recommendations and you can create tailored collections of movies and series based on your language preferences, taste or interests. Not just another ‘entertainment’ system, the multilayered interactive Dashboard widgets allow Pulse to stand out as an ‘infotainment’ system. Whether it is the weather forecast, a description of the upcoming activities on board or a menu of the day, you can find any of this and more on your Dashboard. 

  • ETO approved 

  • Bespoke platform customised for you

  • Easily adjust Pulse to your chosen language

  • Create personalised multimedia collections 

E: info@vbhi.com
W: www.Vbhi.com

i-Bridge AIR WINGS
iBridge Airwingsi-Bridge Air Wings is an integrated system for creating panoramic wheelhouses on board superyachts through distributed electronics and a cutting-edge design. This integrated nav-com solution controls and manages all onboard systems by harnessing 3D technology, multi-touch controls and joggers and features both a 4k stretch display and an integrated wing. Through these features, the I-Bridge Air Wings provides its users with easy handling and secure control. As for the product’s origins, Massimo Minnella, TEAM Italia’s CEO explains: “The most innovative wheelhouse concepts are moving towards a clear change in the usability of this part of the yacht [...] The pilot house area has become panoramic, and the heavy structures which often used to hold the racks have been removed. By doing so, design has become an increasingly more important feature, creating pleasantly sociable areas which can be enjoyed by owners and guests.”

I-Bridge Air Wings was designed in order to satisfy these requirements,” continues Daniele Ceccanti, TEAM Italia’s president, “and we worked according to the architecture of distributed electronics. This enabled us to free up space by using a lighter design whilst still guaranteeing the very highest levels of safety onboard.”

  • Distributed electronics

  • Panoramic wheelhouse

  • 100% Italian design

  • Ergonomic studies developed ad hoc

E: info@team-italia.it

W: www.team-italia.it

Videoworks Intelligent Glass
Videoworks intelligent glass
Videoworks’ highly innovative product, the ‘intelligent glass’ is actually a transparent and multifunctional adhesive film that can be applied to any kind of glass surface. Practically speaking, the maximum sizes for a single piece of glass are 59" x 134" and for adhesive film are 47" x 134". Once installed, the ‘Intelligent Glass’ can change from opaque to transparent, either immediately or gradually, by the simple touch of a button. All multimedia content can be beamed on the adhesive film and remotely controlled with ease with the multimedia software for tablets and smartphones created by Videoworks. This new technology is able to instantaneously change from a transparent to an opaque surface, or vice-versa. This instantaneous transformation is an extremely important feature of the product as it not only controls the degree of privacy for the user in a practical way, but also the amount of natural light that penetrates the interiors - blocking more than 98% of harmful UV rays in the process - and the amount of heat from that same source. This interesting solution can also potentially introduce us to a new way of conceiving a yacht’s interior and exterior design, as it allows the technology itself to become an integral part of the decor for the next generation of yachts.

The clearest product on the market (minimum 35+% lower haze factor)

  • Instantaneous transformation from opaque to a transparent surface

  • Reduces solar heat by up to 40% 

  • Blocks over 98% of harmful UV rays

E: info@videoworks.it

W: www.videoworks.it

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