Kevin Merrigan, president of Northrop and Johnson, brought an incredibly cool item to my attention yesterday: an electronic butler. It’s onboard the 160-foot charter yacht Newvida, as part of her Crestron touch-panel system.
Many megayachts feature these panels, particularly the handy compact sizes that rest on saloon tabletops and nightstands. They can be programmed for controlling everything from mood lighting and climate control to the music system–and, aboard Newvida, ordering the equivalent of room service.
“Tap the wine button, a complete display and description of the available wines appears on the screen,” Merrigan writes. “Cheese that complements the wine? Tap that button, and the chef’s recommendation appears. Tap the order button, and the chef and stewardess are alerted, a printout appears in the galley, your request is promptly fulfilled, the items are deducted from inventory and added to a restock list, and the cost (should you be a charterer) is added to your bill.”
Simple, effective, and efficient for both the guests and the crew–that is, of course, if guests resist those wee-hour attacks of the munchies and let the chef get some well-deserved shut-eye…