Furrion parts the seas with AI-powered "world's smartest yacht"
The Nevada desert is not the place you'd expect to find the world's most intelligent yacht, but that's exactly where she's docked right now. The first ever yacht to appear at CES, the US$5 million Furrion Adonis provides luxury and convenience above and beyond other yachts and superyachts, relying on a comprehensive onboard AI system called "Angel." With facial recognition, voice control, smart mirrors and touch displays scattered throughout the vessel, Angel makes a luxurious ocean vacation that much more personalized and spectacular.
The Adonis is a 78-foot (24-m) Numarine yacht at its core, but the luxury mobile living experts at Hong Kong-headquartered Furrion have customized it well above and beyond basic form, creating an intelligent showcase of marine-grade components and technologies, including the all-new Angel system that's still under development. Like the Limitless and Elysium RVs that came before it, the Adonis is a concept and living product display, not a forthcoming production model.
The highlight of the Adonis build is Angel, an Alexa-like personal assistant designed specifically for life on the move, whether at sea or on land. The system brings together a variety of smart features and information, all accessible the minute you say "Hi Angel" within range of one of the voice-control speakers sprinkled throughout the boat. From there, Angel can deliver news, social media updates, weather and other information, play music in a single room or over the entire yacht-wide Furrion sound system, or even send a meal order to the galley (we reckon you'll want to have a chef manning the galley if you expect the order fulfilled).
Beyond voice, the Angel system is accessible via smart mirrors in the bedrooms. What looks like an unassuming mirror at first becomes an interactive display when you touch it or prompt Angel to wake up. The smart display then works as a touchscreen, and can display information like news, web searches, yacht systems data, course maps, and even TV shows and movies. Smaller touchscreen control tablets bring Angel to rooms and corners that lack dedicated smart mirrors, ensuring that everything you need is always at arm's length.
More than just a reactive system, Angel uses facial recognition to learn individual preferences and whims so it can automatically adjust settings like temperature, blind opening/closing, and music around each person on board the yacht. It also extends those capabilities beyond the ship deck, suggesting activities, restaurants and sites at stops along the journey. It can even make reservations, place orders and otherwise serve as an extra mind and set of hands. To access facial recognition, one simply stands in front of a smart mirror, allowing Angel to read his or her face and even offer health analysis on things like weight and skin complexion.
Angel is also tasked with security, capable of controlling and monitoring all onboard cameras. A drone docked on the top deck beefs security up further, and Angel can deploy it to give a bird's eye view of the vessel, helping to better identify threats and breaches. The drone can also be used recreationally, capturing photos of the surroundings and passengers.
A final component of the Angel system is Furrion's Sense TV, a slim HD unit with built-in sound bar and anti-vibration technology eating up the ebb and flow of the sea. This TV serves as an extra screen for the Angel system and can of course play content, with or without Angel's help.
At CES, we put our little blue yacht booties on and stepped aboard the Adonis for a closer look. The Angel system is still a work in progress and wasn't without glitches (it seemed to require you to get really close to the ceiling-mounted speaker-microphone and, in some cases, took a few tries to fire up), but it's easy to see how it will greatly streamline the future of at-sea travel and living. If Furrion increases the voice pick-up sensitivity, for instance, you could order up breakfast, get the morning news and put on some music or TV, all without leaving bed in the morning.
Seeing that it's designed for a mobile environment that can travel the world, Angel can work online or off. The system pulls and stores necessary information and operates on a closed network when offline to ensure uninterrupted operation, then automatically updates and syncs when back online.
Furrion hopes to have Angel market-ready by the end of 2019. From there, it intends to continue growing and evolving the system, adding new features and enhancing old ones. Beyond yachts, it sees Angel finding use in motorhome and travel trailer design, another area of expertise for a company that has US headquarters in the world RV capital of Elkhart, Indiana. It also intends to offer the system for residential use.
You can learn more about the Angel system in the first video below, and see more of the Adonis yacht in the second video and in our full photo gallery from CES.