Wed, Nov 12, 2014

Finding Nemo – on your superyacht!

Superyacht owners could in the future be treating their guests to the ultimate onboard cinema with their very own Imax theatre on their yachts.

It would help, though, if their yachts are at least 100 metres long, and the Imax is included the early design stages.

The collaborators of this groundbreaking project are Yacht Intelligence, a leading supplier of custom audio visual and control solutions for superyachts, yacht designer Ken Freivokh, and Imax Private Theatre distributor Genesis Technologies.

Together, they are designing what will be the world’s first superyacht with an onboard Imax theatre.

The yacht itself would be 150 m long, with the theatre located in the hull of the vessel.

This private theatre will not only be used to watch blockbusters, but it will also project live underwater CCTV images from outside the yacht, thus giving the concept its name, The Nemo Room.

The high-tech private Nemo Room will also be used for Blu-Ray, streaming live content, gaming and video conferencing. 

Having come up with the original idea for The Nemo Room, Yacht Intelligence approached Freivokh to help take the concept to the next level.

Freivokh happened to be designing a 150-m superyacht for a client who he knew would be happy to try novel ideas and so the project created the perfect opportunity for the group to work on the concept.

“With Imax’s strict parameters and incredibly specific technological requirements, our first challenge was to persuade them to take us seriously, and prove that it would be possible to create a truly unique private theatre on a superyacht,” says Alan Bernardi, the founder and Managing Director of Yacht Intelligence.

Freivokh comments: “We always strive to be very innovative. We work to evoke an exclusive feeling by developing uncommon spaces that are fundamentally spectacular. The first Imax cinema on a yacht will be just that!”

The design parameters for the theatre are being pushed to the limits by the design team who are working within the unusual space of a hull - an area which would otherwise be used for tankage and storage - in order to create the desired cinematic experience.

The space is being cleverly designed so that the client will enter the theatre via sliding walls instead of doors, thus creating a seamless surround screen and completing the famous Imax immersive effect. 

It’s not only the space constraints that are proving challenging, say the designers.

The revolutionary technologies behind Imax also require the utmost attention. Each Imax Private Theatre system has an image enhancer - a camera that reads the image on the screen and feeds back to the projector - enabling real-time adjustments to ensure that the on-screen image is perfect. Imax also uses a state-of-the-art dual 4K projection system to deliver lifelike crystal-clear images, and a microphone system that collects data from each individual channel in the speaker system and performs daily tuning calibrations, correcting the response of the channel so the sound is always perfectly tuned. 

Incorporating these technologies is only half of the story however, because the challenge behind the scenes is just as intriguing.

File sizes for this technology are huge, with a typical Imax movie being anywhere up to 60 GB. Bearing in mind that a typical movie download for the average client with a 10-20 Mbps bandwidth will take four hours, working to solve the bandwidth issue will be a critical success factor for the project.

For this, Yacht Intelligence has proposed a solution that will vary bandwidth speed so that it is higher at night during low-use and lower during the day when usage is at its optimum. If the yacht is deep at sea, they will use a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) and start the download overnight.

Wim De Vos of Genesis Technologies says: “Yacht Intelligence and Ken Freivokh Design are doing an amazing job like few others in the industry could. Superyachts are huge entertainment vessels and the use of good technologies is an integral part of this. There are so many exciting things happening in this space – I see this as just the tip of the iceberg of what can be achieved.”

Bernardi says that the collaboration is creating “something truly unique to the superyacht market”.

“We believe that Imax theatres could be integrated into yachts of over 100 m as long as they’re designed in at an early stage. Therefore if the existing owner opts for the cinema aboard his 150 m yacht, or it’s taken up by the next client, we will work to ensure none of the normal operations or spaces are adversely affected.

“Everything needs to be considered in the design and build from the technology itself to the usability of the yacht and even which furnishings provide optimum acoustic performance. However, we’ve always been a company that likes a challenge and to push the boundaries of what’s possible. That’s what we are doing again here and I firmly believe that our work will change the way people look at audio-visual entertainment on superyachts in the future,” he concludes.

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