Vertex Aquaristik just announced that their upcoming Vertex Cerebra controller will be released to beta testers by the end of March.
I don’t see the logic in this. In the age of iPhones, iPads, web browsers, and web-connected TVs, why create a separate standalone product that add additional expense to the hobbyist?
Well, eight months later, it seems like a lot has changed and things have become much clearer. The Vertex Cerebra will actually be a custom built Android (yup, Google’s mobile operating system) Froyo (2.2) device with a 3.5-inch touch screen display. It will support several wireless connectivity standards like WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G (GSM), and even Zig-Bee. It will have an embedded web server built-in so you can access it anywhere over the internet. Firmware update is even automatic and OTA (over-the-air).
What can it monitor and control? A lot! — PH, ORP, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, humidity, and dissolved and ambient CO2 to name a few. It even looks like Vertex is coming out with a range of “V-Chrome colorimeter” products that will let you monitor and control calcium, magnesium, etc. It will also definitely control other Vertex products like their Illumina and Illumilux LED lighting, Libra dosing system, and an upcoming V-Cam wireless camera module.
Additional modules for PWM, 6 and 8 controllable outlet modules, air and fluid meters and regulators, Par/Lux meters, optical and mechanical level sensors, leak detectors, etc.
Since the Cerebra is running Android, you can purchase and install additional apps from the Vertex App-Store. If you are an Android developer, create custom apps for the Cerebra and sell or share them at the store as well.
As a mobile and reef enthusiast, these are the kinds of devices I am waiting for and I’m hyped! I just wish that it will be affordable for the hobbyist when it hits the stores sometime June.
Now, to find out how to get in that beta testing group…
Full press release after the break:
Vertex Aquaristik™ announces the launch of beta test phase of Cerebra
Cologne, Germany—February 17th, 2011—Vertex™ revolutionary Cerebra will be released to beta testers before the end of March. Twenty testers have been carefully chosen to assist with field trials after extensive in-house evaluations and debugging of the firmware.
“This process has been set in place to further collect input from users working with the production model Cerebra. We have had many aquarists involved with this project in the past 2 years however it was important to us to go through this last step prior to release.” Said Andreas Schneider, CSO of Vertex™ Technologies of Austria.
Vertex Aquaristik™ has decided to once again shift perspective from the industry-norms and boldly pursue their vision of an “Aquarium Controller”. In which simple commands of switch on/switch off and timer cycles are entirely replaced with a new concept and mentality of “Collect, process and act”. A complete simulated cyber environment interlinked with your system, operated by task specific dedicated apps, possibly created by the very user.
Welcome to V-CYBER SPACE.
Aquarist will no longer be bound by a few simple bench marks such as photoperiod and or acceptable PH range. Introduction of complete autochthonous ecological simulation will enable the creator to duplicate the conditions of specimen’s true habitat in real life.
Another distinct aspect of Cerebra is to create a virtual network of aquarist that allows free flow of information, techniques and or methods. For years the best source of information on aquatic knowledge has been a handful of Internet forums. As valuable as they have been the evolution is here.
Imagine designing a species specific breeding station for fish, inverts or any other specimen to be as easy as downloading an app to mimic the environment at which the said animal breeds and thrives. Would it be periodic thermal deviations, photoperiod, flow, concentration of food and nourishments…
Imagine trouble shooting your favorite brand of skimmer by watching a video on how to accomplish this task only a few centimeters away from the said device.
Imagine…, or simply experience all that though Cerebra.
We invite all users to further enrich the Vertex™ virtual community with new insights by sharing thoughts, know-hows and knowledge, or in short; by writing apps. One can say; the aquarium hobby has finally claimed its place in the cyber space.
o ARM Cortex-A8 CPU by Freescale
o 32bit processor
o 512Mb RAM
o 24bit color display capable of 16,777,216 colors.
o 32KB instruction and data cache
o Unified 256KB L2 cache
o Neon SIMD media accelerator
o Vector Floating point co-processor
o Battery buffered RTC
o Power management modes
Other Material, design and construction:
o Anodized Aluminum outer body combined with ABS/PC end caps
o USB and other connectors hidden in our half-hexagon conduit compartment
o 3.5” Wide Screen Touch display
o 8 layer board construction more than 850 components
o Back wall connection plate to mount on the wall or in cabinet.
o Swiveling bracket
o V-Grid network module
o OpenGL ES 2.0 and open VG 1.1hardware accelerator
o 24-BIT display supports up to WXGA resolution
o High quality hardware Video de-interlacing
o Image and video resize, inversion and rotation hardware
o Alpha blending and color space conversion
o All network connections firewalled
o Android 2.2
o Fast and responsive
o Enables user to illustrate apps.
o Buy Apps
o Sell Vertex™ approved apps
o Share knowledge, Ideas, create, expand and grow
o Zig-Bee (802.15.4 PHY)
o First app based aquarium controller
o Modules connected over USB 2.0
o SD card
o Supports external tablets
o Graphical menus
o Embedded web server to monitor, configure and or control over Internet or Intranet.
o Auto detection of new hardware
o Ethernet connection onboard
o NTP time control
o Automatic firmware update capable
o Multiple fail safe and error detection features
o Galvanic isolation of modules via optocouplers and DC-DC convertors/ 2KV isolation
o Supports “Smart Digital” sensors, capable of error detection, 2 way communication
o Supports industry standard sensors
o Battery powered wireless remote sensors
o Monitor and report power consumption of each connected device
o Programmable logic
o Email Alerts
o SMS alerts
o Data logging, history, graphing
o Remote monitoring and control via Internet and GSM
o I-Phone App
o Capable of being linked to Zig-Bee universal remote controllers
o Printer compatible to print reports, logs and or graphs
o Browse Internet
o Watch high resolution videos
o V-light composer for simulating sunrise, sunset, weather simulations…
o LED diming and control
o Variable speed pump control
o Modify, create and or write apps to fully customize control of your system
o Monitor and control PH
o Monitor and control Redox
o Monitor and control conductivity (Both salt and fresh water)
o Monitor and control dissolved oxygen
o Monitor and control temperature
o Monitor and control ambient humidity
o Monitor and control dissolved Co2
o Monitor and control ambient Co2 Levels
o Monitor and control many other parameters via V-Chrome such as Calcium, magnesium…
o Variable AC outlets
o Air-flow meter and regulators
o Fluid-flow meter and regulators
o V-Cam wireless Camera for remote real time viewing
o Remote low power wireless sensors
o Leak detector
o Fluid level sensor mechanical and or optical
o UPS Module; enables the life support system in case of power interruption
o Variable speed power-heads such as Tunze
Construction of Modules:
o Each module consists of 2 parts, primary and secondary.
o Primary module is universal for most devices and will connect to cerebra via USB.
o The secondary modules are function specific which will connect to a primary module
o Devices are interchangeable through different USB connections and different modules
o Modules casing; anodized Aluminum with ABS/PC end caps
o Supporting devices via USB and or many other applicable connectors
o Anodized Aluminum construction
o Quality relays with In-rush surge protection
o Will be available in 6 and 8 socket blocks
o Quality components
o Additional USB ports on power blocks, one uplink and 3 downlinks
o Hall sensors on board to measure current draw/ consumption of each connected device
Native support of:
o Libra dosing systems
o V-Chrome colorimeter
o V-Cam wireless camera module
o Illumina luminaires
o Illumilux luminaires
Cerebra introduces an entirely new user interface based on an elegant wide screen touch display and revolutionary software that allows users to monitor, configure and or control every aspect of their system’s operations with just a tap of their finger. It allows the aquarist to share thoughts, ideas, acquire methods, information and or illustrate an app to set his or her own foot-print on aquatic cyber space through Vertex™ Cerebra.
See you out there in V-SPACE.
Vertex Aquaristik™ GmbH
*Most if not all mentioned features and or devices above are targeted to be released by or before Interzoo 2012.(This time line does not include any specific apps.)
**Initial product Launch date is set for June 2011.
Image above is courtesy of ReefBuilders.