There were some rumors – now it’s coming soon. On the MACNA the U.S. firm EcoTech Marine presents its new product Reeflink. Reeflink is an aquarium computer that links the Ecotech products. Here’s finally our first hands-on review!
What is Reeflink?
In pioneering way EcoTech Marine finally closes the communication gap between Vortech pumps, the Radion LED lamps, the web-based management tool Ecosmart Live and mobile devices. Reeflink provides online and wireless full control and configuration of the pumps and lights. Whether from a smartphone, tablet or online from any computer in the world. So far, it was needed to connect via USB cable to the LED for configuration or for small adjustments each time.
Hands-On: Testing Reeflink
As the first European blog we get the exclusive opportunity to install Reeflink at our tanks and test it.
Reeflink is an amazingly small, inconspicuous box. Only the known round LED from EcoTech on the top and three ports on the back are available on this device. No display, no further connection options. Why – the control works comfortably through the cloud and practically designed user-interface that will work on all devices. Due to the WiFi connection, Reeflink must not be placed in the cabinet. It only needs to be located in the coverage of the WLAN and the other ecotech devices.
A quick glance at the manual is enough to understand how Reeflink is integrated into the system. With the provided USB cable, the device is connected to the computer once (Note: Previously the Ecosmart Connection Manager has to be updated). After that you login to ecosmartlive.com. Reeflink is detected automatically and you will be guided through a short setup process.
You can choose between WiFi or wired connection (Ethernet). We decide for a WiFi integration. After entering the wifi password Reeflink configures itself.
Then you will be forwarded directly to ecosmartlive.com. On the left side we see in our equipment list that all our LEDs are connected wireless with Reeflink to ecosmartlive. Reminder: Previously one LED needed to be connected via USB, which then controlled the others wireless.
From now on, the LEDs, color settings and schedule settings can be controlled from the couch or on the road wireless. Amazingly, changes to the colors or other settings appear without any latency, although the changes are sent directly to the cloud to America and back to Europe on the domestic Reeflink. There is no caching or similar required – the changes happen live.
Mobile use of Ecosmart Live via iPhone App
Without any announcement, the iPhone App for Reeflink is now available in the Apple App Store. Here are some first pictures. Controlling the Radion lamps is working brilliant and without any latency directly from the iPhone.
After log in to your Ecosmart Live account, you can control the lamps live with the following options:
- Color setting: Kelvin setting, RGB adjustment sliders or directly individual colors. The settings can be saved as a preset
- Use of presets
- Switching through the preview modes:Thunderstorm, Demo, Cloud and Disco
- Rudimental setting of a daily schedule (start of day, end of day, max. intensity based on a pre-selected schedules)
A look into the future:
The current use-case in our test only replaces the USB cable to make adjustments on the light. However, the future is close already – some great features will appear soon:
- Flowcontrol: At the end of 2013 and the Vortech pumps can be controlled and synchronized via ecosmartlive.com. Then the pump and LEDs can communicate, e.g. for night reduction or the thunderstorm mode. A preview is already visible on ecosmartlive.com.
- Iphone, Ipad and Android App: The lamps and pumps should be easily controlled by apps from your mobile device in the future. The app for iOS will be available in the next days, the Android app later.
- Access from all over the world: rumors say, that a webcam could be integrated in the future so the tank can be seen from the office or your holiday location. Changes from remote can be checked live.
- Central unit and aquarium computer: we think that EcoTech certainly will deploy more devices that can be controlled with the central unit Reeflink.
Who is the target group of Reeflink?
Apple showed it several years ago – and EcoTech Marine is on a similar path: A closed system of their own products, which works perfect in every way but leaves out other manufacturers. So you should not expect to be able to integrate products from other manufacturers. But Reeflink makes sense for all of those who have at least one Radion or and a Vortech.
EcoTech not only focuses the consumers as customers. Especially for stores, who have many pumps and Radion lamps in use, Reeflink is great: They could present customers live, how the coral looks under the indivual color settings of their lightning. Or the light settings of the store could easily provided to the customer by email. In addition, support can be provided by the stores logging onto the devices of the customer and making changes and optimizations from remote.
Reeflink will show its full benefits in the future. Reeflink is the central computer for all Ecotech products – every exisiting technology and the upcoming stuff. Reeflink is much more than a gimmick and we think is suitable for all of those who want to control lights and pumps Ecotech precisely.
The technological roadmap will deliver more products and derive to a holistic system already in the close future.