...a Quiet Revolution
A Disappearing Act
Blended display solutions that afford aesthetic continuity, right up until you need it to be something else.
. . . Continued from main page
Feature Article - VBH Technology / JCF Magazine - JAN, 2023 Issue
“Next is what we like to call Black Death.” he humorously quips. “All throughout these beautiful yachts, from one room to the next, we have these huge black TV screens that do nothing but deteriorate the aesthetics when they’re off – which they certainly are 90-95% of the time. So yes, this Flop 10 list became the driver for everything, shortly after I came aboard – and the monitors were at the top of the list.”
“Ok so you’ve talked about the disappearing act, effectively banishing the black death problem, but what about the cabin controls, your solution to replace the I Pads?” I asked.
“Yes, so basically, we came to the conclusion that there were only two things that really matter in solving this issue: Beauty of integration and ease of use.
So, what we commonly have today is a system integrator where we are mainly integrating all the equipment with each other, writing software and connecting everything with everything. But that era, if you will, is in the past.” He says. “It has no real value anymore for clients. The real value is an advanced beauty of integration and ease of use. Therefore, we launched a number of products, which you can see in our video clip, one example being our Magic UI (User Interface). The magic part refers to the user interface disappearing completely from the surface.”
“Can you give us an example of how that works?”
“Sure. Let's say you want to close some blinds or dim some lights. Instead of hunting for an I Pad or going to a wall mounted touch panel, you simply approach the nearest surface, whether it be a wall, a side-ledge or what have you, and suddenly your user interface appears. It’s actually our dream product where you touch the surface, or simply approach it and there are your command options. And when you push the buttons you also feel the feedback; a haptic sensation in your fingertip that instantly lets you know the function you wanted has been activated. As you know, one of the biggest frustrations is to push a button on an iPad and nothing happens, right? Then you push it again and nothing happens because you unwittingly toggled it off. So, we’ve solved a few problems – checked off some of our Flop 10. And with our Magic UI solution, this kind of UI can be in tables, it can be at wall locations, in a shower, anything you can think of - indoors or outdoors. It’s extremely versatile and as with our invisible monitors, it affords a vastly cleaner aesthetic – something both designers will no doubt have fun with, and owners will love.”
When the buttons are pushed, the user feels the feedback; a haptic sensation in your fingertip that instantly lets you know the function you wanted has been activated.
ACA's ground unit at work in a Gulfstream cabin
“So, can you please explain a little further?” I asked. “Do you mean that LED control displays are actually mounted below the surface, becoming visible through the surface once they’re activated?”
“That’s correct. And it can be virtually any material from wood or stone veneers to metal or almost anything. We’ve also introduced Xtenza, a rotary control button which closely mimics a similar interface on several BMW autos. It affords an ultra-intuitive setup where you can select the function you want, then simply toggle plus or minus; e.g. temperature higher/lower, sound higher/ lower, lights etc. 95% of all the functions a user would need or want are covered within a single rotary interface, thereby eliminating the complex iPad structure.
Another innovation we’ve brought is one involving our personal smart phones. Many guests aboard yachts and aircraft ask the quite logical question, why can I not use my own phone? I have it with me all day, everywhere I go. It is a more than reasonable question in today’s environment. Therefore, to address this question, we also developed special software for the iPhone and Android platforms. So now, when an owner or guest steps on board, he or she simply scans a QR code given by the crew. It immediately configures your phone to a solution we call Service Call App. So, as an example, you say ‘I’d like to have a beer’, a crewmember gets the signal and someone shows up with a cold beer. ,Like their M4X application, ultimately controlling everything you want on board, from lights to the movie you’d like to watch, you never click more than four times on your smartphone to get what you want.
Unfortunately, space and time won’t allow us to unwrap all of the impressive advancements VBH is bringing to the table in this issue, but rest assured we will follow up with additional articles in future issues and interim posts, keeping you informed throughout 2023 and beyond. In the meantime, please reference the videos included here and visit VBH’s sitelink below.
Lastly, I realize much of what we’ve talked about in this article is more presently relating to yachts, which is certainly VBH’s bread and better and where most of their history lies. But we all know how it works. Many of the technologies over the years now residing on modern VVIP jets, bizjets and within SFC commercial compartments, originated from the yacht and residential markets – and VBH’s offerings will take a similar path. The lag of course is due to the far more cumbersome regulatory requirements in aviation. But Mr. Van den Hurk is quick to inform that their groundwork for entering the aviation sector with these products, has already begun. In the meantime, JCF Magazine will continue to update you, unfolding more new advancements by this remarkable company.
Visit VBH at: vbhi.com