Luxury Yachting & Augmented Reality

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There are few places in the world where the presence of the ocean is as evident as it is in Miami. Even when we can’t see it, there are plenty of reminders that we are only minutes away from the water. There are canals all across the city, and drawbridges connecting tiny islands to each other and to the mainland across the bay.

It comes as no surprise then, that there are boats all over Miami, and that these range from tiny inflatable rafts to luxurious yachts and cruise ships. When we go to the suburbs, we may find one parked in a backyard, waiting for the next fishing outing, begging to be taken out to play. Closer to the city, we find canals and marinas dotted with yachts, kept in pristine conditions by loving owners and taken to the sandbars over the weekend.

Along with Fort Lauderdale, the city also offers some of the largest boat shows in the world, where visitors can see the latest designs for small boats and luxury yachts alike.

We had the opportunity to visit the Miami Boat Show earlier this year, and plan on attending the one in Fort Lauderdale next November. Walking through a boat large enough for us to get lost in it was quite the experience, and it gave us plenty of ideas on how to implement AR and VR into an industry integral to the life of our city.

First, we experienced an actual VR tour of one of the boats. The tour itself was great, but required a cumbersome platform and plugged in headset that kept getting in the way of turning around and moving from one space to the next. Equipment, transportation, and installation costs are high for this kind of set up, so it was no surprise that there was only one available, or that most people were hesitant to take part of the experience.

A great alternative would be to use several customized cardboard headsets, and replace the navigation interface with something similar to what we use for residential projects: Focus on point A to move towards it, instead of physically walking there.

A second element of the show that caught our attention was the way in which different firms advertise their yachts. Whatever the model may be, informative brochures and other print media all show the same: A basic layout of the boat on one side, and a picture of the boat on the water on the other.

What better way of making one yacht stand out from the rest than having it emerge from the page? Imagine focusing on the spatial layout with your smartphone, and turn a 2D drawing into a fully interactive 3D model!

This is what we are doing with AR now, and we can’t wait for November to show it off at the Boat Show. Stay tuned!