Technology is a fast paced and everchanging environment, particularly within the yachting industry. New developments and improvements can quickly result in new trends, cheaper alternatives and better experiences for owners and guests. In a constantly adapting market it is difficult to identify which technological products and services will be appearing next, but we have highlighted the top 5 areas in which technology will change the future of the yachting industry.
A reliable internet source and connection is a highly demanded service and is undoubtedly essential to life on board a yacht. 4G is a common way to gain connectivity on a yacht, however this may not be the best option when travelling through remote areas. Therefore, VSAT providers are a popular choice, specifically designed to gain satellite communication for remote locations. Alphabet Inc., the parent company to Google, is now taking global connectivity a step further. Through a subsidiary arm known as Loon, the company is developing stratospheric balloons to provide a more reliable internet connection to the most remote locations across the globe. If successful each balloon in the stratosphere will be able to receive a signal and create a high speed connection to stream anything you want in any location.
Many owners are always looking for the next gadget they can enjoy in the water and developers are pushing the boundaries in what they offer and the technology behind them. Hydrofoil technology is now successfully taking a grip of the yachting toys market and charter guests can expect to see more hydro-foiling ebikes, Lift efoils and foiling sail dinghies in the future, as well as other products using the same science.
Businesses are also becoming increasingly explorative in the products they produce and leisure submersibles are becoming a popular accessory to have onboard. Improving technology has allowed small leisure submersibles to become a viable investment for owners wanting to explore those untouched and unseen locations. It is expected that more yacht toys will be focusing on submersible technology and there are a range of underwater drones becoming available on the market seeking to tap into this trend. Although jet skis, inflatables and SUPs are a reliable source of fun on many charter yachts, it is likely that yachting toys will continue to develop and become more varied as technology aids the desire to try something new.
Technology is allowing a seamless transition throughout a yachts interior to be customised with the preference of individual clients. Similar to how yacht crews are aware of the type of service each owner and clients prefer, Bluetooth localisation enables a yacht’s technical system to monitor where the owner and guests are through their telephone. Using beacons around the yacht, the Bluetooth signal can triangulate where an individual telephone is and automatically adjust the yacht’s environment, whether it’s the music, lighting or temperature, to match with the owner’s preference. This localisation approach to technology creates a unified environment for the owner or guests that is designed to establish a more convenient and constant experience while onboard.
While 3D printing is already being widely used in the smaller boating market, it is still in its infancy for use on larger yachts. However, the technology behind 3D printing has the potential to disrupt every aspect of the industry. In construction, 3D printers have the advantage of being more efficient in time, accuracy and materials than conventional shipbuilding. Entire yachts and their interiors could be created by 3D printers, using more efficient materials for stronger and more affordable designs. Individual component parts can also be easily produced for yacht refits and repairs and are in fact already starting to be used for larger yachts. As the technology develops it will certain play a larger role in the yachting industry and it is predicted in the future, a complete 45m yacht could be printed in 90 days, compared to the current two to three years build time.
The desire for yachts to have increasing technological abilities while maintaining a stylish interior design has led to many technologies being integrated into everyday surfaces within a yachts interior. Systems like the crowd-funded ENERQi are a reliable solution for turning almost any furniture surface into a wireless charging station, making life at sea much more convenient. Plus, by removing the need for cables and plugs for various devices, these essential devices quickly make the superyacht’s expertly crafted interior design sleeker and more modern. Integrated HD laser projectors are also the future to remove the need for wall hung televisions and give a seamless design, without compromising viewing quality. In fact, almost any technology will soon be able to be integrated within a yachts surfaces including speakers, and as technology advances we can be sure to see a seamless marriage of technology and interior design in order to create the desired environment for the owner.