Over the years we have migrated from one style of controlling our devices, to new very complex graphically fancy Pads. And for a while the more buttons and options it had, the more high tech and fashionable it looked.
For the longest time the standard TV remote was the most common way of controlling your visual entertainment. Then came another remote to control your surround sound system, and the other for the air-conditioner. Add the DVD player, and that satellite TV SkyHD box.
So with new tech we learned that we can control multiple units through either a universal remote (one that is programmed to control multiple devices) or with a full on control system as presented to us through Crestron, Control4, ELAN and many other flavours out there.
But with this development we have managed to create ourselves a complicated setup. Either we sit there with multiple remotes trying to figure out what to press to watch our favourite TV show, or we get an beautifully looking interface on an iPad, where we go through multiple steps to play our favourite song on the sound system.
And the saddest thing is that most of the time these interfaces have been designed by an engineer who actually has not been on a vessel and experienced the pressure of the moment, when 5 guests ask for 5 different things at the same time, and of course it is when everyone is busy because the vessel is just exiting the port and the cocktails are being served!
That is where we have to remember that the design and functionality needs to be so simple that you do not need a degree in electronics to understand the logic behind it. We do not want to press 10 buttons to get where we want.
It needs to be simple (sleek maybe) but most importantly familiar one way or another!
In my sincere opinion, a guest will come onboard and will want to play their spotify playlist that is on their phone, and that should take no more than connecting to the Wi-Fi and/or going to your Bluetooth choices and selecting the Main Deck Aft being advertised on the list. And with your phone you can then raise the volume to the level you want.
When you want to watch a movie, you do need that remote pad, but something that is familiar from home, and in no more than 2 presses should you have the movie playing that you had so long wanted to watch.
The next time you approach your integrator, have this discussion with them. Most times they will simply instal the same design idea that they did on the last installation they did. In this article I wanted to press on that we need to move on with it. The technology is available, and actually with the developments in the past years it has become simpler in concept, more compact in design and more flexible in the installation process. The programming does need to be done by a professional though, as again, an uninitiated will design something that is more complicated than really necessary, with potential of bugs that can trouble you in the worst of times.
This article was written by Tim Gorter, Virtual AVIT ETO, www.teletechnics.com.
I provide a Virtual AV/IT ETO support and am looking out to helping you in any technical requirements, to make sure you get the best out of the AV & IT system onboard. I want to make sure you understand how it works, and that it works as advertised. Call for an AV & IT health check, more on teletechnics.com
By Tim Gorter, AV/IT/Wi-Fi Virtual AVIT ETO