Top 5 superyacht technology trends of the future

4K Ultra HD video

This year’s Monaco Yacht Show brought together some of the world’s most technologically advanced superyachts, but what will the superyacht tech trends of the future be? What will superyacht owners be demanding in the months and years to come? To find out, we caught up with two of the leading companies specialising in on-board tech.

“This market is all about the latest technologies, gadgets and impressing people,” Crestron’s Daniel Kerkhof told Boat International.

Galactica Super Nova (pictured above) was one of the first projects that actually got the whole system up to 4K Ultra HD,” he adds. “Just a couple of years ago we were used to having component video and a maximum of 1080p resolution, but now we’re already talking about video over fibre in a 4K resolution.”

Photo: David Churchill

Discreet technology

It’s not enough to simply have the best technology on board, it has to be integrated in a seamless and discreet way, Sara Stimilli from Videoworks explains.

“You don’t need to hang the TV onto the walls anymore. We have developed a full HD laser projector, integrated into the bespoke furniture,” she continued. “Another popular feature is invisible speakers, where it’s not the speaker itself that creates sound, it’s the materials. For example on the Wider 150 (pictured above) we created speakers that look like QR codes — you can simply scan them and then broadcast your playlist to the yacht’s speaker system.”

Project Loon WiFi

Live sporting events and internet-based streaming services are making it more and more important to have a reliable high-speed internet connection on board, but with owners keen to cruise further afield, the technology is racing to keep up.

“In general if you are cruising somewhere you cannot say that you will have a high-band internet connection,” Kerkhof admits. “On the sea there’s still not very much available and, if it is available, it is extremely expensive. This could be something that is going to change in the upcoming years.

“Project Loon by Google (pictured above) is already trying to deliver Internet access to the most remote places. I won’t be surprised if there comes a day when every yacht has its own balloon travelling with it, just to make sure it has a high bandwidth internet connection. I’m sure I’m not the first one thinking of that.”

Photo: Flickr / Ilitephoto

Bluetooth localisation

Superyacht owners are used to the kind of service where they don’t have to ask for anything as the crew already know what they want and when. So why should the technical system be any different? With this in mind, Crestron is seeing a rise in localisation systems, which allow the yacht to be alerted via Bluetooth as soon as the owner walks into a particular room.

“You can have Bluetooth beacons installed around the yacht so that as soon as a person walks into a room with their telephone in their pocket, we know where they are, and if we know that the owner likes a certain kind of music, and we know that he likes the lights to be at a certain level, everything can go on automatically,” Kerkhof adds.

Photo: Flickr / Tsvetomir Tsonev

Systems redundancy

Of course all of these bold innovations are liable to fail at some point, leaving the crew to pick up the pieces. It’s for this reason that Videoworks is predicting a rise in technical redundancy.

“We’re seeing more demands for redundant systems on board yachts,” Stimilli remarks. “This means that when the primary server breaks down, everything continues working because it’s been doubled up. Exactly like a back-up generator. It’s very new as a concept and means cost savings so a technician doesn’t need to fly from the Caribbean to Ancona just to get a spare part.”

Photo: Carlo Borlenghi