Reef Factory is a brand new company out of Poland with a very ambitious vision for monitoring the modern reef aquarium. The catalog of Reef Factory devices includes a broad assortment of focused sensors and controllers to keep reef aquarists in touch and in tune with the most important parameters of their aquarium.
At first glance some of the Reef Factory temperature, pH, Salinity and TDS accessories seem casually similar to the kind that we see from various Chinese manufacturers. The big exception though is that, as far as we can tell, all of their devices are wireless and communicate with the Reef Factory smartphone app or local network for both monitoring and control.
The philosophy of Reef Factory monitoring devices and controlling accessories is in stark contrast to virtually all other controllers in the aquarium hobby today. Instead of one smart box with a cornucopia of dumb accessories and a single major point of failure, all of Reef Factory’s sensors and monitors have their own smarts and connectivity, mostly working independently for a distributed, decentralized system.
Reef Factory envisions their ecosystem of accessories relating primarily to the three most important parameters which are temperature, pH, and salinity, with associated sensors for TDS, lots of different ways to maintain a steady water level, and a dosing pump to help keep everything in check.
When put altogether the Reef Factory devices can make keeping a reef aquarium much easier, allowing the aquarist to focus on the aspects of reef keeping that require a more hands on approach; most notably the light, water flow, nutrients and mineral balance of the reef aquarium water. It’s no secret that we’ve cultivated a healthy disdain for dumb sensors and accessories the are useless without a centralized controllers, and therefore a huge central point of failure.
The Reef Factory catalog of sensors and single-purpose controllers looks very promising and we have no doubt that they’ve got well polished hardware. However what will eventually determine the success of this company’s product line is how well they’ve succeeded in refining the software and wireless connectivity.
If connecting is buttery smooth then Reef Factory won’t be able to make enough and they’ll have a long, successful roadmap ahead of them. If the connectivity is wonky or anything but flawless, which is at least half of the aquarium devices available today, then they may cultivate a dedicated fanbase but it’ll be a hard sell to the hobby at large. In some ways Reef Factory isn’t doing anything we haven’t seen before from a various companies before but the scope of what they are trying to bring under one umbrella in such a unified fashion is very ambitious, and we sincerely want to see this approach succeed. [Reef Factory]