When it comes to superyachts, owners want the very latest entertainment & AV technology built in from the beginning. This is where the technology adviser comes in, able to recommend not just the latest, but the best technology to suit owners’ tastes.
Yachting Pages spoke to Kerry Pettitt from SMART Technology Advisers about how and where the role of an adviser fits into the superyacht build process.
Can you define the role of a technology adviser?
The role of the technology adviser comes in several forms. Primarily, the function is to offer the best technology to fit the owner’s desires and requirements when either building or refitting their yacht.
A technology adviser will de-construct the technical jargon, make sure that the design for the technology works and that it’s of a commercial value, before presenting the findings back to the owner. They then have all the tools needed to make an informed decision.
We are uniquely positioned to do this within the industry. Our independence gives us trusted access to manufacturers and suppliers who will share with us their latest product offerings and their insights into tomorrow’s technology, today.
How does a technology adviser get involved with the build process?
Technology advisers are involved from the very early stages of discussion, sometimes before a yard has even been chosen. For example, at SMART, we work alongside the owner and their team throughout the build process; from the design of the technology system through to providing quality assurance during installation, and further support once the yacht has been delivered.
What considerations need to be made for AV & entertainment systems during the build process?
Many considerations need to be taken into account when it comes to AV/IT systems, but simplicity and ease of use for the client is paramount.
You need to understand the client’s requirements and how the design will complement and enhance their overall experience. For example, the owner may want the best speakers available today, but if the speakers are not positioned properly this can hugely reduce their quality and value.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a $30k or $750k system; if it’s overcomplicated and doesn’t enhance the owner’s experience, it will inhibit their enjoyment. It’s also crucial to consider the engineering aspects during a yacht build, from space, weight and stability, to cabling maintenance, acoustics and visual impact.
What type of discussions do you have with the owners in regards to technology on board?
Initial discussions with owners allow the technology adviser to establish what they want from a technology solution. Once the owner’s requirements are established, a specification can then be written and a cost calculated. The owner will either agree to this, or the specification can be tailored to fit the budget they have in mind.
It’s vital to make the specification for the owner’s requirements as accurate as possible, keeping an eye on potential new technologies, which may interest the owner three years down the line, once the yacht is delivered.
Owners’ tastes also vary wildly, and it’s important to understand the difference between a movie enthusiast who wants an immersive experience, and someone who wishes to have absolute fidelity when listening to classical music.
How is the role of technology adviser evolving?
I would say the roles of ‘technology adviser’ and ‘technology manager’ are beginning to form clear definitions.
A technology manager would work in a similar way to a technology adviser, but they also often offer the owner a selection of their own services such as IT support, and/or the supply and installation of equipment they may have specified. Both the technology manager and adviser have their strengths, and ultimately different owners can choose which way they want to go.