19 jul 2016

Van Berge Henegouwen (VBH) has delivered the first onboard Living Technology system that integrates the Apple Watch with the Pivot control application. The result is new levels of convenience and service quality for superyacht guests and owners. This has been developed in response to the wish of a superyacht captain to raise the quality of his onboard service even higher than before.

Calling the crew - the Apple crew watch system builds on the capabilities of the VBH Pivot control system with the mobility, flexibility and convenience of the Apple Watch. Following extensive development work, VBH has extended the steward call function of the Pivot control system to allow calls placed by guests to be received by the crew in a discrete fashion on Apple Watches. VBH has implemented Apple push notifications to make sure that calls are received even if the watch is not active. 

When a crew member receives a call he / she can accept the call, which informs both the calling guest as well as other crew members that the call has been received and assistance in on the way. This is an effective and discrete alternative to the use of radios and reduces the number of devices crew members have to carry around. To further add to this, VBH has also developed a central messaging system that allows messages such as information – “All Crew Guests are awake!”, notifications - “Crew Lunch is served in the mess” and alerts – “Fire alarm lower deck guest cabin” that may be received on the Apple Watches. 
Convenient control for owners and guests - the Pivot Apple Watch app can also be used by owners and guests to control the entertainment and environment on board. After much research VBH found that the best watch interaction is one that is short and meaningful, so the VBH Watch app is designed to be used for quick exchanges of information. 

The watch therefore features the use of contextual controls where, based on the activity the guest is busy with, only the most important controls are show on the watch. For example, when a guest watches TV the channel up/down volume and mute are the buttons immediately available. These then change to play/pause, next and previous if the guest switches to listening to music. 

The VBH Pivot app allows users to create their own custom presets via the app. Lighting, curtains, as well as the control of the entertainment system may be stored as a custom preset for each guest. The Apple Watch app extends the capability to activate these presets directly from the watch. 

“This new service is another step in our quest to bring the latest technologies to our customers and merge them with other onboard systems to deliver experiences that are both pleasurable and convenient,” says VBH CTO Ameet Sarvaiya. “We call this Living Technology as it refers not only to the way in which individuals can define and control every aspect of their environment, but also to the fact that our systems are designed to grow and evolve over time with minimal disruption. We welcome challenges like this that owners and captains bring to us, and the opportunities that they present to use existing products in new ways, or to develop something entirely new.”

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