Home Automation on Yachts: An Innovative Approach
While home and business automation technology continues its unstoppable growth, some successful system integrators are looking beyond the home: in their search they come across luxury boats, equipped with every imaginable comfort. With Marco and Mirko Martino of NWD snc, we will discuss this unexpected area of business for the increasingly avant-garde field of home automation.
One of the more significant challenges for system integrators and those in the home automation field is their need to face an increasingly demanding and competitive market, and to find new business areas and commercial spaces.
Mirko and Marco Martino, two young businessmen from Foligno who founded NWD snc in 1996, have ventured to where few home technology operators dared to go: into the open sea. NWD continues to work prevalently in the home sector, but they also work in the commercial and industrial sectors as well. For example, they do business with large hotels or foreign clients that buy real estate properties in Italy.
When the opportunity came from their clients to extend their sphere of competence by applying their technology to a completely new environment, the two businessmen did not tuck tail and run away, but faced the challenge instead. After the first ad hoc home automaton applications were made for the yachts of NWD customers, the company can declare confidently that it has a successful boating division.
With the two Martino brothers, we explore this unusual field of home automation application, discussing how this technology can be adapted to different environments with unique characteristics.
“In the field of boating, NWD works with security, entertainment, and wellness, which is all done in the scope of saving energy, which is particularly important in an intimate, self-sufficient environment like the yacht,” Marco Martino says. “Boating automation” includes navigational safety and intrusion-detection systems, but it also has multi-room systems and fitness areas to make the stay more pleasant on board.
Equipping the luxury boats with sophisticated sensors, NWD sets up video surveillance systems, which can also be controlled remotely, in order to create and protect particularly delicate devices like the ones that manage the opening and closing of hatches, which is essential for navigation. These projects also include the management of specific controls for clean water, engine cooling, and emergency lights.
“We began working with boats because of a few of our clients bought luxury yachts and asked us to try to apply home automation to them,” Mirko Martino recalls. “From managing multi-room systems to security, we succeeded in applying home automation to a new field.”
Martino explains that the greatest difficulty in working with luxury yachts is the initial preparation, because in such a small environment, in which everything should be functional and never excessive, one can’t make a mistake. “Unlike automation in homes, on boats there is an even stressed importance attributed to motorization. Screens, built in speakers, and a whole system of components and technology must be hidden to avoid clutter as much as possible,” Martino comments.
The true challenge is to understand how to carry out a particular boat’s installation. “We need to gather information first- to understand the boat’s wiring schematic perfectly, to study the installation’s requirements, and to make the best path for the boat’s different signals. Furthermore, when working in this type of environment, we always need to be in contact with an interior designer,” Martino explains.
In fact, on yachts, the use of specific rendering that accompanies all the stages of preparation is particularly important to make sure that the owner understands how the proposed technical solution starts with the aesthetics of the interior.
“In reality, it’s not much different than working with home automation for a luxurious apartment. The customer’s satisfaction is still the unit of measure that we use to determine whether we were successful or not.” Martino concludes.