The Fishbit is a new aquarium controller and monitor which aims to simplify the process of keeping tabs on your aquarium when you are not around. Fishbit takes a radically different approach to aquarium monitoring by combining all the important sensors into a single module which rests in the aquarium and is both powered and communicates wirelessly through the aquarium glass.
The business end of the Fishbit packs in the most popular and essential electronics necessary to determine temperature, pH, salinity (via conductivity) and ammonia. The “wetside” of the Fishbit is powered through the glass via inductive charging that is built right into its magnet mount. Communicating back to the “dry side” is accomplished using Bluetooth which reports back to a wifi-connected base station.
If this is all the Fishbit accomplished it would already make a fine aquarium monitoring device but it also includes an 8-plug switchable outlet which can be programmed for controlling other aquarium equipment such as heaters, lights, pumps etc. Altogether these features make for a very compelling piece of aquarium gear but the real magic the Fishbit is hoping to deliver will be on the user interface and user experience.
To help users get the most out of the Fishbit aquarium monitor and controller, the company is expending considerable amount of attention to the smartphone application. The Fishbit app will neatly communicate what is going in the aquarium, it’ll notice when certain parameters are drifting out of the prescribed range, and it will alert users of problems before they arise.
The Fishbit launched today at CES, along with a kickstarter campaign to finance the first 30 beta units of this novel approach to aquarium monitoring. The first five backers will be able to test drive the beta units of the Fishbit for $299 and the next 25 will have to pony up $349, but it is uncertain how much the Fishbit will cost when it goes on sale to the public. Better yet, the Kickstarter backers who get the first 30 Beta units will also receive a final version of the Fishbit when they are manufactured.
What excites us most about the Fishbit is that this startup is coming from the tech sector to the aquarium world. From this angle they are bringing a less techy, more mainstream approach to aquarium monitoring that will be more appealing to the general aquarium keeper. The aquarium world needs a really effective single tank controller for folks like our parents and are siblings who are more casual aquarium owners that still would love to have their fish tank connected via a web-enabled application. [KickStarter, Fishbit]