Superyacht theatre and the most outlandish of AV solutions.
How about TVs at the end of the bath fitted with touch-screen controls so that, you can switch channels or turn the volume up? Paul Rose, from AV supplier Icon Connect, says, “That’s no problem.” How about a pool table that is made to look like a swimming pool, so that when the ball skims across its surface it creates the visual effect of a stone skittering across the surface? This is absolutely possible, stunning and indeed available right now.
HD TV and liquid pool tables
Meanwhile, Jetstream in Monaco is about to launch HD TV over the internet. This system will give guests access to all of their favourite TV channels wherever their superyacht is sailing – it just requires a 2.2MB Internet connection.
Hi-tech parties and prayer rooms
Icon Connect has also created a sky lounge that converts to a full nightclub featuring a DJ mixing desk, sound system, lights, lasers and smoke machines. They have also installed a 2.6m (103”) plasma screen as part of an on-board lounge area while adding a 2.1m (84”) screen in the owner’s study. On one yacht Paul Rose fitted a permanent DJ desk to the sundeck. On another, he supplied a beach party sound system that packs up into its own cases (together with portable generator) ready to be taken ashore to continue the party on the sand.
If you don’t want the weight of a real aquarium inside your yacht, there are alternatives. One 80m superyacht has a virtual aquarium; an entire room with floor-to-ceiling technology that reproduces the ambience of a real aquarium. Another smaller yacht with owners in the Middle East was fitted with a virtual compass. Clients seeking to pray facing Mecca need only look at the floor in the prayer room to see in which direction it lies.
Superyacht to mass market
Last year SYOG reported that gesture controlled AV was emerging in the superyacht market. A year later and the release of the Xbox one has brought this new technology to the mass market. Seamless interactivity with technology is now becoming the norm and this industry moves at a shockingly quick pace. Moore’s law states that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. With this in mind, just think what future technology will be available by next year.
iUbiquity and mediaglass
Van Berge Henegouwen in Holland has created a specialist division to deal with their most outlandish of AV solutions: the LuxperienceLab. This is headed up by design manager Anouk van Mil, who recently joined VBH. She says, “We sell experiences, not just products. We custom design and build installations for our clients.”
She cannot reveal the exclusive yachts in which VBH is involved, but talks of one with plans to install a video wall measuring 2m by 3m and an LED ‘mediaglass’ – a device that lets owners convert large areas of glass, such as windows or the yacht’s side screens into lighting displays for events such as discos.
“When set to respond to music, the signal produced is analysed and used as input for custom software. The algorithms use this to create visual lighting effects that are nothing short of mind-blowing,” said Van Mil.“You cannot call any of this ‘crazy’ because by doing so, you would be criticising the client,” says Paul Rose of Icon Connect.
I believe it is our job to put a smile on the superyacht owner’s face. Everything we do is out of the ordinary and even extraordinary in its own way, but it is what the client wants that matters here. We must never forget that these superyachts are pleasure craft, first and foremost.
If you thought AV was just about movies and music, it’s time for a rethink. A growing trend is that of 3D holographic display. ANT has recently brought an ingenious virtual fireplace to the superyacht marketplace. It is a display platform where real objects mix with virtual layers to produce a stunning realistic fire effect, creating a spectacular centrepiece for any room. As well as using the latest holographic technology, the 3D virtual fireplace sets the mood and creates the perfect ambience for social occasions.
The virtual flames supply the visual effects, with realistic crackling fire sound effects coming from the built-in speakers. The fireplace can be integrated into existing or new customised furniture and the content can be changed by swapping the Flash Card (or remotely via the Internet). Consider changing the colour of the flames, swapping the homely fireplace effects for those of an aquarium or selecting a new 3D holographic experience from a library of ideas…the only limit is your imagination!