The world of multimedia technology evolves at a rapid rate. From experimenting with virtual reality to the use of drones for humanitarian aid, the field is wide-ranging and far-reaching, and superyachts are well-placed to maximise the potential.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Smartglasses for superyachts

For some yacht designers, the possibilities that virtual reality offers is being put to good use to bridge the gap between imagination and reality, and the distance between client and studio. When conceiving an interior layout, with all of the architectural know-how that involves, virtual reality is providing a link between what exists in a designer’s mind and what can be portrayed using renderings. Owners can now move around their virtual yacht from the comfort and privacy of their own home and make key decisions about the styling and interior of their boat before ever having stepped foot on board.

Many large tech businesses, including Microsoft and Facebook, are making significant investments into developing VR-related products, and it’s role in the design world is only set to increase. So too the advent of augmented reality. Smartglasses, which are more commonly used for augmented reality gaming are also being adapted to assist with remote logistics, tele-medicine and manufacturing. Effectively wearable computers which can run self-contained mobile apps, they are also an ideal solution for superyacht owners who like to stay remotely connected to the office while still enjoying time on board; smartglasses enable owners to literally ‘keep an eye’ on their business.

Drone technology in the superyacht space

For those keen to have a bird’s eye view, the use of drones – as controversial as they may be in an urban setting when occupying sensitive air space or crossing privacy boundaries – have many benefits for those at sea. Aside from taking spectacular aerial photography and video, drones are now being used to tackle a wide range of issues. The emerging global market for business services using drones is estimated to be in the region of US$127B, according to PwC. So, it only seems natural that investment into the drone space has significantly grown.

A drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously. Rolls-Royce has already completed a number of trials using small UAV to help inspect ships above the surface when at sea. And below the waterline, Orobotix’s SeaDrone reduces subsea infrastructure inspection costs using low cost robotic hardware and mobile software to deliver a complete underwater visual inspection of hulls.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are among some of the first countries to be using drones that can travel miles out from port to locate ships that are committing emissions infractions. Likewise, RanMarine operates a Roomba-like unmanned marine vehicle used to collect waste in ports and harbours, while RedZone Robotics focusses on robots used to help maintain systems for wastewater management. In this climate sensitive age, drone weather forecasting is growing apace with the ability to physically follow weather patterns as they develop, while Saildrone has developed an autonomous sailboat that collects oceanic and atmospheric data from the ocean surface.

360-degree high-resolution cameras capture the ultimate footage at sea

When it comes to capturing the ultimate footage out at sea, however, few things can compete with the world of 360-degree high-resolution cameras. Panoblu is the world’s first professional panoramic imaging system for the luxury yacht market. Revolutionising onboard safety and security while simultaneously building an impressive online charter library, the 157 megapixel ultra-high resolution 360° camera runs continuously capturing footage in real-time. For repeat charter guests looking to retrace their footsteps from the previous year, or a superyacht owner simply wishing to be reminded of past adventures, Panoblu’s intelligent resource management means users can rate the images and then filter the content – taking yacht photography to a whole new level.

And for those on the move, the GoPro Max series of portable devices allow users to Shoot single-lens HERO-style video with unbreakable stabilization or capture immersive 360 footage in 6K1. Whether kitesurfing the icebergs in Greenland or sailing in an offshore regatta, the game-changing horizon levelling technology will create exhilarating footage like nothing else out there.