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Steve Jobs' mysterious iMac-controlled yacht
A year after his death, one of Jobs' secretive final projects, the Venus, comes to fruition
 
Sleek and minimalist, the Venus yacht was a veritable obsession for Steve Jobs.
Sleek and minimalist, the Venus yacht was a veritable obsession for Steve Jobs.
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What if the design trendsetters at Apple created luxury watercraft? There is no iYacht, of course, but before he died, Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs designed and started building his own yacht. Now, a year after he passed away, Jobs' 260-foot vessel, the Venus, has formally launched in the Netherlands, at a ceremony attended by Jobs' wife, Laurene, and their three children. 

The yacht was built by Dutch shipbuilder Koninklijke De Vries, and designed by Jobs and celebrated French minimalist designer Philippe Starck. (Watch video of the yacht below.) There's more than a taste of Apple in the design. "True to his singular vision, the Venus is a floating Apple device, with seven 27-inch iMacs on board, sleek like a floating piece of hardware," says Adam Popescu at ReadWriteWeb. The ship is even "made of lightweight aluminum and a special glass conceived by Apple engineers." Sleek design, aluminum, and custom glass? Sounds like a giant buoyant iPhone 5, says Aubrey Cohen at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"Far more interesting from our perspective are the seven 27-inch iMacs that seem to serve as the ship's main instrument monitors," says Chris Rawson at TUAW. "They definitely appear to be the new super-thin iMacs, but speculation in the TUAW newsroom ran rampant over what software they're running," a custom operating system or an off-the-shelf navigational system?

"The yacht appears to be as it was described in the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson," says Charlie White at Mashable. Based on designs and models Jobs showed him, Isaacson describes the then-unfinished Venus as "sleek and minimalist," and a veritable Jobs "obsession." As both Isaacson and the Dutch blog One More Thing describe it, "the enormous yacht is between 230 and 260 feet long.... an extraordinary vessel with teak decks and large panes of ceiling-to-floor glass throughout."

And, rather poignantly, Jobs knew he might never see the boat completed. As he told Isaacson: 

I know that it's possible I will die and leave Laurene with a half-built boat. But I have to keep going on it. If I don't, it's an admission that I'm about to die.

Sources: One More Thing, ReadWriteWeb, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Slate, TUAW

 

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