When it comes to technology and gadgets, they can't all be winners.
Owners of the largest yachts in the world – those multi-million dollar floating homes loaded with the newest toys – can be a fickle bunch. A hot new gadget or toy unveiled to the yachting industry at a boat show can catch the eye of wealthy boat owners and end up on hundreds of yachts – or just as quickly be branded as ho-hum and brushed aside.
Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters understands the appeal of new techno-toys and amenities on mega yacht charter vessels. "When our clients ask us to provide a new model vessel for their Mediterranean yacht charter vacation, they expect that boat will have the same new gadgets and amenities that they enjoy at home," says Sheeder. "Our team is constantly reviewing the new gadget and tech marketplace for unique and user-friendly items that can enhance the client's onboard experience. Every year we some real winners and a few that fizzle and fade away."
Here are Sheeder's picks for the biggest tech flops of 2012:
Skippers on charter yachts know the importance of keeping the children of their charter clients amused and occupied. For years, onboard game consoles like PlayStation have been a staple. Launched in early 2012, PlayStation Vita promised amazing graphics, a growing online community, and cross-play with the PS3. Still, the new device never caught on as a "must have" platform. "The failure of Vita to catch on seems to raise the question about the viability of handheld gaming consoles at a time when we see more and more children with game-capable smartphones, " says Sheeder. "We anticipate a shift away form gaming consoles on our yachts, in favor of onboard smartphones and tablets that the children can borrow during their vacation."
True, 3D HDTV hit the market before 2012, but the argument can easily be made that this is the year these much-hyped TVs became irrelevant, with a mere 3% adoption rate in American homes. Sheeder explains, "User-friendly is the key to a suitable toy or gadget on a yacht. Who wants to sit in the saloon having to wear an awkward pair of specialty glasses – that for some can induce a headache – just to watch a movie? The charter experience is based on a model of total relaxation, and the 3D TV experience, while trendy, is not catching on with our yacht owners."
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