Announced just moments ago, EcoTech Marine is giving their EcoSmart Live (ESL) platform a huge update that will allow users more extensive control of the VorTech wireless pumps, give the entire interface a fresh new look, and even incorporate a webcam into the mix that will allow users to check on their tanks from a PC or smartphone. While still only in Beta testing, EcoTech Marine is offering up limited spots for everyday users to test out the updates and help them create a more polished and functional product. The ESL update will release today and all you have to do to be part of it is log into www.ecosmartlive.com and check the “Participate in Beta Releases” checkbox from the Settings & Manage Account page. If you don’t make it into this beta release, more spots will be made available as time progresses. As for all of the new features coming with the EcoSmart Live update, take a look at these: All new web design provides quick and convenient access to your Radions, VorTechs, and device settings. VorTech control! Import pumps, upgrade them, schedule modes, adjust settings, and demo your VorTech pumps to dial in and wow friends, family and house guests from the website. Creating gyres has never been easier by pairing master and slave pumps visually in ESL. Create, preview, and save waves for your VorTechs. Call various saved waves with the click of a button
Good news Apex users, Neptune Systems announced yesterday that their Apex Fusion platform is finally out of beta testing and is ready for prime time. The Apex Fusion is a cloud based system that lets you communicate with your Apex controller from anywhere in the world. Previously, all wireless communications were handled through apps and software loaded on your personal devices. Because the Apex used these various software versions, things like updates and firmware were occasionally an issue. With the Apex Fusion, however, all of the software is loaded on the Neptune Systems’ servers, which means you never have to download an app or update software. It will all be up to date with the most cutting edge software available, and it won’t tax any of your systems either. The Fusion platform works on nearly every device imaginable, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. Besides being a place to monitor water parameters, Apex Fusion also lets you control everything connected to your AquaController. Turn off lights, turn on pumps, do whatever it is that is important to you.
At the end of November, EcoTech Marine officially launched their much touted and highly anticipated ReefLink wireless hub to the mass of aquarium keepers who have been yearning for a way to control their Radion LED fixtures via a real-time wireless connection to the EcoSmart Live platform. In conjunction with this release, EcoTech Marine also gave their EcoSmart Live a much needed mobile-friendly app that would allow smartphone and tablet users to be able to access and control their ReefLink from anywhere in the world. Available to download for free from the iTunes, the EcoSmart Live app has multiple menus that allow the light from the Radion fixtures to be finely tuned with a simple swipe of a finger. An Android app is also in the works, and EcoTech Marine has announced that internal beta testing will start this week and that they will be accepting external beta testers for that platform in the weeks ahead. Getting back to the app itself, we first saw it at MACNA 2013 when the ReefLink was initially being debuted. The app was being displayed on an iPad, and it ran quite smoothly and was very easy and intuitive to use. With the app, users can adjust the Kelvin (color temperature) of the Radions that are in use, as well as customize the RGB output or tinker with the intensities of any one of the six individual color channels. Also seen in the app is a “Radiant Color” tab, which is a special lighting schedule designed to hit your tank with some heavy blues in the morning to make the corals pop before ramping up to full spectrum during the middle of the day, then back down to the blues for some easy evening viewing. The ReefLink retails for $199 and is currently availble to purchase at your closes EcoTech Marine authorized retailer. The EcoSmart Live app is free and immediately available to download from iTunes.
Listen up all of you would-be guinea pigs, Neptune Systems is looking to try out the beta version of their upcoming Apex Fusion software. According to a recent announcement, beta versions of their Apex controller firmware and their highly touted Apex Fusion service will become available later this month. Due to the groundswelling of requests from hobbyists to be beta testers, Neptune is making the system available in a limited supply. To be considered, all you have to do is go to the Neptune Systems website and fill out an application letting them know a little about your system. There is no listed minimum requirements to be a beta tester, and it would appear that Neptune Systems will focus on Apex, Apex Lite, and Apex Jr. users alike. For those of you not familiar with Apex Fusion, it is a new service that will allow Apex users to access and modify the settings of their controllers from the cloud.
The Radion has been one of the most popular LED fixtures on the market, just as the Apex has been one of the most popular aquarium controllers. But for the first two years of coexistence in the aquarium equipment marketplace, the two weren’t exactly a match made in heaven, despite the fact that Neptune Systems has heavily supported EcoTech Marine products. The Apex controller worked relatively well with the Radion from the onset, but the lack of wireless control was always a big issue for aquarium keepers. Fortunately, through continued development of wireless communications in the aquarium industry and the release of the new Apex Fusion dashboard, the Radion and the Apex can now work hand in hand without requiring the use of unsightly wires. Announced at MACNA 2013 just a week ago, Neptune Systems has finally broken through the previously mentioned wireless barrier for the Radion, and for users of VorTech wireless pumps, it may not cost them any extra. The WXM module, which has been around almost as long as the pumps with the wireless drivers, can now communicate with the Radion and allow users to implement all sorts of LED control with the Apex Fusion dashboard and the associated lighting wizards.