When Volvo Penta launched Easy Connect earlier in 2018, many boaters were excited to take advantage of the app that enables them to put their boat in the palm of their hands. Easy Connect provides users with data of the engine, boat and routes taken – directly on their smartphone or tablet – which can be viewed again when back on land. Now, Easy Connect is compatible with Volvo Penta’s D1 and D2 engines; the app will also be available in June for Android devices. As such, the benefits of Easy Connect will be available to even more boaters.
“Easy Connect has become very popular in just a few months, with hundreds of boaters downloading the app already,” says Anders Thorin, manager for product planning for electronics at Volvo Penta. “Making it available for more engines and on Android devices now as well, means that more customers will be able to take advantage of the its great functions for connectivity.”
Transfer of analogue to digital information
Easy Connect for D1 and D2 models is available for single installation of engines dating from 2007 onwards, and requires an MDI box (mechanical diesel interface). The Easy Connect Interface also includes NMEA2000 functionality, enabling it to be connected to an existing NMEA network within the boat, so that additional data can be accesses such as speed, depth sensors, and compatible chart plotters or multi-function displays onboard.
“The use of digital information via the Easy Connect app is a great complement to analogue instrumentation,” says Thorin. “It is capable of showing data provided by the engine as well as information from additional sensors and functionalities installed on the boat.”
Onboard and onshore: easy to use at all times
Easy Connect will show information that is already available from the boat’s engine or via the NMEA2000 network. The free app is paired with an onboard Bluetooth® interface installed in the boat, which transfers data. Instant availability of live data is complemented by stored information that can be looked at when away from the vessel. The app has a simple and intuitive dashboard-style layout that can be personalized to each customer’s requirements. The available data may vary depending on what type of functionality is installed on the boat. 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 for D1 and D2 engines gives access to data such as engine speed, coolant temperature, battery voltage, boat speed*, fuel level*, depth*, and routes.
Home View: Key information is always stored within the app; and the app also keeps a list of all previous journeys, allowing boat owners to revisit their favorite trips. Journeys are tracked only when the engine ignition is on. In the map function, owners will be able to see the position of the boat when they were last connected. Home view also gives fuel level and engine hours when last connected to the boat.
Functionality at the swipe of the fingertips
Easy Connect allows users to share information on their favorite trips with friends and family on social media. “The possibility of sharing journey information with friends is a simple way to bring an added level of fun to boating,” says Thorin. “Overall, Easy Connect offers considerable functionality to users with the swipe of their fingertips.”
Soon available for Android
The Easy Connect app will be available for Android smartphones and tablets in June, via Google Play. The app is also currently available for Apple devices with iOS 10 or a later version.
How to get started
Boat owners can either install the Easy Connect Bluetooth® interface themselves or purchase and have it installed by their Volvo Penta dealer for help. The app should then be downloaded and paired with the interface. There is a FAQ section on Volvo Penta’s website to support the growing Easy Connect community.
“Volvo Penta continues to pioneer ways of using technology to make boating a simple and fun leisure activity,” says Johan Carlsson, chief technology officer at Volvo Penta. “Our vision is for boat owners to be able to connect to and engage with their boat in a way that creates a seamless experience – whether they are out on the water or back on land. Accessible digital information is an integral part of everyday life, and we know that customers want the functions that connectivity offers for boating just as they do for other aspects of their lives. And at Volvo Penta, we want to be the heart of the connected boat.”
*For D1 and D2 engines, boat speed requires a multi-sensor or GPS on NMEA/built-in devices; fuel level requires a fuel level sensor; and depth requires a multi-sensor or NMEA depth sensor.