Liquid Lights Up The Lifestyles Of The Rich
2 September 2008
Liquid Lights Up The Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous
Imagine having a job where you spend much of your time on 150 foot-plus luxury yachts?
That’s the life Liquid Automation founders Stephan Goodhue and Bruce Cox have found themselves in after they started their company in Albany four years ago.
Specialising in automated entertainment and security systems for residential, commercial and marine projects worldwide, Liquid’s projects range from a $10,000 in-house system to million dollar-plus AV fit-outs for super-yachts.
The Kiwi company’s reputation is such that it has doubled its turnover every year since it began.
Goodhue and Cox’s dedication to their craft, along with an outstanding team of installers, has seen the team win two international awards this month at the Cedia Custom Installation Awards – considered the Oscars of the industry as Cedia is the professional certification body.
Liquid took home the two major awards - Best Commercial Project and Best Project Documentation, both for the automated AV fit-out of a 171 foot super-yacht built in New Zealand by Alloy Yachts International Ltd for a European client.
“There are a lot of cowboys out there who aren’t certified but our point of difference is that we create high-quality, reliable, integrated automation/entertainment solutions that work, with no need for frequent follow-up,” says Goodhue.
“That is especially important given that our clients’ super-yachts can be anywhere in the world.”
Goodhue says Liquid guarantees that if any servicing is required, its representatives will be on a plane to sort it out as soon as possible.
“On all of our marine jobs to date, after final sign-off, we have had to attend yachts overseas just three times – and we were straight on the plane with a plan. But all three problems turned out to be with the hardware manufacturing, not Liquid’s systems.”
All of Liquid’s projects so far have come via word of mouth and the company usually has work booked a year ahead. Five of their past marine projects and three of its current ones have been done in conjunction with another elite Kiwi brand, Alloy Yachts International in Henderson. Liquid has also recently been asked to consult on a 285 foot private yacht project in China.
Commercial projects Liquid has worked on include TVNZ’s main control room at Avalon in Lower Hutt and the control systems of the new Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown.
In the home, a Liquid Automation system could feature an intuitive touch screen which, with a few quick taps, would activate security systems, set lighting and music, close or open curtains and/or turn off sports and movies with surround sound on a big screen.
Environment-friendly features and security are other key components of a Liquid system. “We help make buildings energy efficient so that, when the alarm is set, the lights turn off, windows close, air conditioning switches to economy – all things that save money in the long run. For enhanced security, we can use biometrics to set up a finger-swipe, keyless entry system which logs all movements into the building,” says Goodhue.
Not bad for a company which Goodhue and Cox began with just $2,000 each – “so we could get cards printed and phones”.
An electronics engineer, Goodhue did most of his training overseas, much of it on 200 foot private yachts, plus three years with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. That provided an excellent grounding for Liquid, given that Allen had seven boats, two jumbo jets and eight private jets.
An electronics technician, Cox has specialised in marine electronics for more than 25 years, including almost 13 years with one of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest marine electronics companies.
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