Enhancing atmosphere - transforming space on board superyachts with technology
by Rebecca Cahilly
In this space, continues the owner, ‘You get your emotions out, and it’s all about fun.’ Here, the dining table for casual lunches lowers to form a dance floor at night. The entire space transforms into a pulsing disco, aided by the sound and light system as well as a wall of plasma video screens.
No area of a yacht’s structure is off limits when it comes to visual entertainment. Glass panels with television screens can be incorporated into ceilings, walls or floors and can perform a number of functions. Instead of static artwork, the owner of the 45m motor yacht Big Fish opted for a dynamic three-storey video wall featuring 20 46-inch LCD screens that display everything from abstract art to feature films.
On the 50m Heesen motor yacht Man of Steel, a floor of river pebbles under plate glass creates a delicate pathway along a corridor. Each square is illuminated to give the feeling of walking on water over the stones.
Chemically produced smoke or mist can also transform a space. The Californian company Koolfog sees many of its cooling and misting systems implemented into superyachts’ aft decks, not so much for entertainment as for comfort. The mist provides an inviting space to relax outdoors when the weather is hot and sticky. But fog and mist can also provide a visual spectacle, from spooky mist crawling across the deck to fog providing an ethereal background onto which lighting effects such as waterfalls can be displayed. Fog and mist systems can even provide privacy screens to section off certain areas on board a superyacht.
Holograms and 3D imaging have also seen a surge in popularity, often serving as a focal point or a stand-alone art installation. While the technology is not new, it has been refined and is much more realistic. Last year audio-visual company Advanced New Technologies introduced a 3D fireplace to the yacht market. Created as a holographic 3D display, billowing fabric that mimics a flickering flame combines with virtual layers to produce a realistic fire effect in high-definition. The piece is equipped with built-in speakers for custom sound and can be integrated into furniture, while the content and colour of the 3D hologram can be easily changed and customised.
It is expected that the cinema effects seen on land – a breeze that makes you feel as if you’re outdoors and moving seats, ceilings and walls – will soon find their way into superyacht cinemas as well. But perhaps most significantly, a new breed of screen is expected to replace LED and plasmas. The new 4K television offers four times more resolution than standard quality HD, its ultra high-definition image generated by eight megapixels versus the current two megapixels in HD televisions. This technology is not yet mainstream because like 3D and HD, programs have to be made in that definition – but once on the market it is expected to be beyond anything we’ve seen before.
The superyachting community not only has the resources at its fingertips to push such audio visual technology to new heights, but also access to innovative companies with the expertise and ambition to turn fantasy into reality. Whatever you see in environments such as theme parks, restaurants or cinemas – all of this is technically possible to pull through into superyachts. It’s as clear as day that clouds are not the limit.