Easy Connect is the new product of Volvo Penta that allows the owner to connect to his boat via smartphone or tablet to enjoy more the navigation, managing them onboard or preparing them, or studying them, or sharing them when he is at home.
Owners, thanks to this app, can face the exit at sea with the certainty of having at hand, indeed literally in hand, all the information it needs. Easy Connect gives you access to engine, boat and route data directly on your smartphone or tablet. It is downloaded for free and the data is transferred to the mobile device via a Bluetooth interface to be installed on board. The system then allows direct access to the data and stores it for later use. The history of the navigations and routes made is automatically stored in the app, so that they can be used to plan future exits or cruises.
Since mobile apps are now an integral part of people’s daily lives, it is clear that ship owners want this kind of interactive connectivity in water and at home,” says Anders Thorin, head of Volvo Penta electronics products planning. .
The Easy Connect app has a simple and intuitive dashboard style layout and can be customized to suit each customer’s needs. The interfaces are two depending on the type of use: the ‘Captain’ is designed for on-board operations, you access data such as route, engine speed, oil temperature, fuel tank levels, battery status, engine hours, pressure and alarms; the ‘Home’ interface is obviously designed to manage and display saved information when not on board. For example, the amount of fuel left, the engine hours and the last trip are stored. The app also keeps a list of all previous trips, allowing boat owners to revisit their favorite trips. In the map function you can also see the position of the boat at the time of the last connection.
The data stored in the app helps to relive the experiences. Each trip includes important elements, such as a map with the navigation path, distance, driving time from start to finish, and of course the date. “This feature becomes very useful when planning your next trip,” continues Pettersson, “In the app, it’s easy to find your favorite places and check the routes you liked before”.
Easy Connect also simplifies the support and assistance service. If, for example, a diagnostic error code occurs, the app provides access to data on the complete installation of Volvo Penta in the boat and if the customer has entered the e-mail address of his dealer or service provider the app is authorized to send the information or the error code directly: this function is very useful even when booking a service or an inspection, as it allows the workshop to prepare itself efficiently for support and maintenance.
“If you need help to solve some problems related to the engine room owners, but also boatmen can use the app to send information to Volvo Penta dealers, so that the problem is more quickly solution: it is a bit ‘how to have an extra crew member on board,’ explains Pettersson.
Easy Connect is compatible with all diesel and petrol engines equipped with EVC (Electronic Control Vessel) in single and double installations and also with single non-EVC petrol engines starting from 2006 and later models.
“In addition to offering excellent usability for users of new boats. We wanted to create something that was a cheap way to modernize older boats and offer users all the benefits a digital platform can offer, “adds Pettersson. “Easy Connect is available for many Volvo Penta engines dating back to 2003, which offers a great advantage for many of our customers. They have the ability to turn their smart device into a portable dashboard, allowing friends and relatives to monitor the trip on board. “
Easy Connect, through its hardware interface is able to speak also with the NMEA 2000 standard, which allows it to connect to an existing NMEA network on board and thus access additional data, such as those produced by speed and depth sensors. Furthermore Easy Connect can be used to convert the motor data to be supplied to the chart plotters compatible with NMEA 2000 and to the integrated multifunction displays.
To use Easy Connect it is sufficient to purchase from a Volvo Penta dealer the Bluethoot interface to be installed on the boat, an operation that can be done independently so you can download the Easy Connect app for free to access all the advantages mentioned above. “Through our discussions with dealers and customers, we know that yachtsmen are looking for the practicality and functional options that connected technology offers, so they can have a smooth experience with their boat, regardless of where they are – at sea. , moored at the quayside, at home, at the dealer’s or when lending the boat to a friend, “explains Johan Carlsson, Volvo Penta’s head of technology. “Our ambition is to make a smart and connected boat center available to those who sail at sea. Easy Connect is the next step for us on this journey and in the future we will continue to develop a connected technology for the future “. The Easy Connect app is currently available for smartphones and tablets running iOS 10 or higher, while the version for Android devices will be launched during 2018.