Boat owners can now take to the water with all the information they need in the palm of their hands. Volvo Penta’s new Easy Connect app gives boat owners access to engine, boat and route data – directly on their smartphone or tablet. The free-to-download app is paired with an onboard Bluetooth® interface installed in the boat, which transfers data. This gives instant live access while onboard and information for referencing later when back on land. Route history is automatically stored within the app, which is a perfect tool to plan for future trips.
“With mobile apps now being an integral part of people’s everyday lives, it’s clear that boat owners want this kind of interactive connectivity when on the water and at home too,” says Anders Thorin, manager for product planning for electronics at Volvo Penta. “Our new Easy Connect app is a great tool as it gives boaters a simple way to see all the engine and vessel data with just the swipe of their fingertips.”
Meet your new crew member
The Easy Connect app has a simple and intuitive dashboard-style layout that can be personalized to each customer’s requirements. There is a ‘Captain’ view for onboard operation, and a ‘Home’ view to see saved information when not connected to the boat.
Captain View: This view gives access to data such as route, engine speed, oil temperature, fuel tank levels, battery status, engine hours, pressure and alarm status.
Home View: Key information is always stored within the app, such as the amount of fuel left, engine hours and the latest journey. The app also keeps a list of all previous journeys, allowing boat owners to revisit their favourite trips. In the map function, owners will be able to see the position of the boat when they were last connected.
Share your experiences
Boaters can also use the app’s map function to share their trips via social media so that friends and family can see favourite locations and exciting journeys.
“Just as people show friends and family memories of their favourite holidays and experiences on land, they can now share details of the best journeys they’ve had at sea,” says Marcus Pettersson, project manager at Volvo Penta. “It adds another level of enjoyment and interaction to leisure boating.”
The stored data in the app helps boaters to relive their experiences. Each journey includes details, such as a map with the route of the trip, the distance, driving time from start to finish, as well as the date.
“This feature is ideal when boaters want to plan their next trip,” says Pettersson. “In the app, it is easy to revisit your favourite spots and check out the routes you previously enjoyed.”
Easy Connect with your dealer
Easy Connect also simplifies service and support. In the case that there is a diagnostic trouble code, the app provides access to data about the complete Volvo Penta installation in the boat. Customers can also store the email address of their local dealer in the app so that they can easily send any information or fault codes – a useful function when booking a service or inspection. This enhanced communication allows the dealer to prepare efficiently for support and servicing.
“If they need help with troubleshooting, boat owners can use the app to send information to Volvo Penta’s dealers, helping to solve the issue quickly and conveniently – it’s a bit like having an extra crew member onboard,” says Pettersson.
Modern data upgrade for older boats
Easy Connect is compatible with all EVC-equipped diesel and gasoline engines in single and twin installations. It is also compatible with non-EVC gasoline single installations from the model year 2006 and onwards.
“As well as offering a great interface for users of newer boats, we wanted to create something that would be an affordable way to modernize older boats and give users all the advantages that a digital platform can offer,” adds Pettersson. “Easy Connect is available for many engines within Volvo Penta’s range, dating from 2003, which gives a great benefit for many of our customers. They have the ability to turn their smart device into a portable dashboard, enabling friends and family to also monitor the trip onboard.”
NMEA 2000 functionality
The Easy Connect interface includes NMEA 2000 functionality, enabling it to be connected to an existing NMEA communications network onboard. This allows additional data to be accessed, such as speed and depth sensors. Furthermore, the Easy Connect interface can be used to convert engine data into NMEA 2000-compatible chart plotters and multi-function displays onboard.
How to get connected
It is easy to get connected. The first step is to install the Easy Connect interface in the boat. It can be purchased through a local Volvo Penta dealer. Customers can either install the interface themselves or get help from a Volvo Penta dealer. Then, the Easy Connect app can be downloaded for free.
The future of boating is connected
Volvo Penta is continuing to pioneer ways of making boating easier for customers. The company’s philosophy is to develop technology that connects products and services for a seamlessly integrated offer from helm to prop, and Easy Connect is the latest example of this forward-thinking approach.
“Through our discussions with dealers and customers, we know that boaters want the convenience and functional options that connected technology offers, so they can have a seamless experience with their boat, no matter where they are – onboard, at the dock, at home, at the dealer, or when loaning the boat to a friend,” says Johan Carlsson, chief technology officer at Volvo Penta. “It is our ambition to be the centre of the smart, connected boat. Easy Connect is the next step for us on this journey. We will continue with connected technology for the future.”
The Easy Connect app is now available for smartphones and tablets via iOS 10 or a later version and will be launched for Android devices during 2018.