Over the last decade or so the superyacht industry has gone through somewhat of a technological revolution. As technology has developed apace globally in the realms of telecommunications, home entertainment and hotel services, such technologies have come ubiquitous and, therefore, they have become a central element of every superyacht project, bringing with them a unique set of challenges. In response to a growing demand for integration and technological performance, C.N.SAT, the telecommunications and entertainment specialist, has developed a system architecture and software the deals directly with issues relating to space, weight, power consumption and user experience.
“Today, everything from telecommunications and automation has to be merged and integrated,” starts Mauro Cominale of C.N.SAT. “The development of our system architecture started from a single specific request from a superyacht owner. The owner requested a 35m superyacht with the space of a 45m project. Starting from this point, we developed ‘SMART’ architecture, which merges all the necessary technologies into one single system, thereby improving performance, reducing weight and reducing power consumption.”
SMART, which stands for Software Managed Architecture with Reliable Technology, is a system architecture that makes all the needed services work as software instances. Unlike standard architectures, where each service is managed by a single box running a software that provides the service itself, SMART runs all the software inside a single powerful piece of hardware. The SMART system includes all the typical services found on board superyachts including a firewall/router unit, PABX system, CCTV managers, video on demand, music on demand, journey information and IPTV manager, as well as the option to add additional services if required.
“We have physically built a system, based on normal hardware, that includes all of the services needed,” continues Cominale. “At the end of the story, you have one 1.5m powerful rack unit that provides all of the services that clients need. The standard architecture provided by our competitors typically requires around 16 rack units in total, which requires a great deal of space and power output to yield the same results.”
As impressive as the SMART architecture is, it is only one part of the story. No matter how efficient a system is, without an intuitive user interface, the technology will simply not satisfy the requirements of the superyacht industry’s discerning clients. SMART, therefore, is supported by Hydra and Connected On Board, an intuitive user interface and a remote monitoring system for the senior crew.
“Companies will typically provide you with an iPad, through which you can control movies, music and so on, but every user interface is different and every iPad depends on the programmer that programmes the user interface,” explains Cominale. “Over 20 years we have learnt that these systems are still too confusing from the customer side. Therefore, our user interface uses Apple TV and its control system as its foundation, reducing controls to the Apply TV controller that most users are familiar with. Through Apple TV you can control on-demand services, home automation, hotel services and whatever else is required.”
The technologies on board superyachts today may be ubiquitous, but there are still those companies that fail to meet the most basic of requirements, namely space and simplicity. C.N.SAT’s SMART architecture, supported by Hydra and Connected On Board, places these requirements as its central principles.
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