Spotlight on Business Development Director, Paul Cook
In this Q&A we catch up with Business Development Director, Paul Cook, on the current trends in audio visual and his thoughts and predictions on the industry in the future...
First of all, tell us a bit about your background and experience in working within the marine industry
I joined ANT four years ago following a career in the Royal Navy and as a Superyacht Captain, which spanned 25 years. I grew up in the sailing Mecca of the Solent, Lymington, and have been on the water in one form or another all my life. From playing about in boats, to selling yachts and power boats, to being a captain, and now providing support and realising people’s dreams - I love the marine world and couldn’t imagine working or being involved in any other environment.
What attracted you to working with Superyachts?
Like many, I was really attracted by the sheer magnitude, beauty and the challenge of these largest of yachts and the desire to be involved with the most prestigious of water craft.
My career in the Royal Navy also stood me in good stead – many think that Superyachts and the military are like chalk and cheese but in reality there is a lot of similarity and crossover both operationally and in the construction phase.
What factors would you say make ANT unique?
We believe implicitly, and always have done, in the personal touch and despite becoming part of the much larger SAM Electronics and L-3 corporation, we are still able to offer an individual and tailored service with clients dealing directly with Steve Puckering and myself.
Electronics is a fast changing industry – what would you say have been the biggest changes in audio visual equipment over the last five years and what are the current trends?
The most significant changes in recent years have been seen in network connectivity and the gradual demise of disc based media.
Moving on to the present day, I would have to say that one of the current biggest trends is for full HD, 3D multi-experience cinemas; keeping the system simple, easy to use yet multi-functional. Also, using iPhones or Android phones to control various systems from AV, to lighting, to security, to Steward Call on board yachts as well as in homes and aeroplanes.
Another current trend is human inter-active control features – turning the person into an interface using gesture recognition.
And moving forward what advancements in equipment do you think we’ll be seeing over the next five years?
The electronics industry is so fast changing that technology will have progressed ten-fold in five years time.
Gesture control will become a normal everyday occurrence (as demonstrated by Tom Cruise in Minority Report) and higher and higher resolution, up to 8k, will come in to play (current HD technology extends to 2k)!
Domestic devices will become more integrated, for example enabling the selection of a drink from the comfort of your arm chair with the integration of your coffee machine with your iPod.
Communication will also take further steps forward with the ability to call business connections and friends via a television webcam and internet connection with fully integrated camera and microphone, utilising an Android platform.
Do you think there are factors which restrict the development of the industry?
The economic downturn of course has a huge bearing in terms of development but other restrictive factors include the cost of research and development and the timely pull through of crossover technology from other industries in to the Superyacht World.
How long does it take to install an AV system on to a Superyacht?
This is a question that can’t be answered with one single answer! The very nature of the work that we do means that each project is unique and the time taken from the design of an AV system through to installation can vary hugely depending on factors such as the size of the yacht and the complexity of the system. It could take anywhere between three months and a year!