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Artificial Intelligence Meets Yacht…


Founding partners at Furrion, an ­innovations company based in Indiana, met while working as mega-yacht crew — giving them a hands-on chance to see what technology worked, and what might be improved, out on the water. They took their ideas to the Turkish boatbuilder Numarine, outfitting a 78-foot yacht with everything from artificial intelligence to drone ­security. Earlier this year, that 78-footer — the Adonis concept yacht — became the first-ever yacht displayed at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, where companies from Apple to Microsoft ­present products that they see as technology’s future.

At the heart of the yacht’s systems is a virtual assistant called Angel, which is networked to everything from the audio ­system to the galley. Angel’s technology is rooted in artificial ­intelligence, meaning the system can learn.

“Angel can deliver the news and ­weather, ­order food from the kitchen, control your morning playlist, and guide you through a yoga workout ­­­— and so much more,” Furrion announced at the show. “Powered by artificial intelligence, it uses facial recognition to learn your personal preferences to customize your experience. Learning your preferences helps Angel suggest things you may like, whether a new activity at your destination, a new restaurant, or perhaps a new outfit as it learns your sizes and recommends outfits from your favorite retailer.”

Other things that Angel reportedly can do — with or without an Internet connection — include deploying drones to address a security threat or to capture photos and video; alerting skippers to the need for a course change, say, because of incoming weather; and monitoring engine-room sensors to provide real-time notice of alarms and issues.

And all of those abilities, according to Furrion, are controllable through a touchpad remote. Angel also responds to voice commands, much like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home.

Adonis is the third concept “vehicle” from Furrion, which produced a semitruck called ­Hercules and a motor home called ­Elysium (that had a helicopter on its top, for visiting the Grand Canyon in luxe style).

“Our concept fleet gives us the flexibility to showcase our innovation ­practically anywhere,” Matt Fidler, co-founder and chief marketing officer for Furrion, told CES attendees. “Furrion’s history is rooted in marine, and now we are able to ­combine the best of our technology, ­design and futuristic innovation.”

There’s no word on whether Adonis will go into production, or on what it might cost. Perhaps someone should ask Angel.


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