Smart Pool Care: Ready for Intelligent Water Monitoring?
When will the connected home head to the pool?
Whether you call it the connected home, the internet of things, or the smart home, internet-assisted home automation is here to stay, and its reach is expanding to more and more areas of today's home. You can now find internet-connected doorbells, locks, refrigerators, sprinkler systems, and lights, to name a few. The connected home has brought with it an abundance of convenience and some genuine improvements - you can now use your smartphone to turn on the thermostat a few hours before returning home from a long trip to avoid returning to a freezing cold house, or remotely unlock your front door to allow a trusted repairman to enter while you're at work.
Not all of the advancements bringing the connected home online have gone smoothly, and many of the new "features" now available to homeowners leave us asking, "is that something we really need?" Connected home devices have also caused some outright problems - whether that's the well-publicized Nest Smart Thermostat outage leaving people in the cold with no way to turn up the heat, wifi-enabled baby monitors being hacked, or a robotic baby bed causing parents to feel guilty about leaving a machine to soothe their child, according to some Snoo reviews.
So where's the smart tech for the pool? It's not non-existent, but it's not exactly pervasive either. A company called PHin manufacturers a smartphone-connected, floating monitor that measures chemical levels in your pool and sends alerts to your phone when adjustments need to be made. And no mention of a smart pool would be complete without mention of one piece of pool technology that's been around for decades - robotic pool cleaner parts that crawl along the bottom of your pool, vacuuming up debris that has sunk to the bottom without direction from a human. (And this was a pretty cool advancement, we have to say!)
But, save for this piece of almost ancient, underwater technology and a floating monitor, pools have remained stubbornly low-tech while the rest of the home is marching quickly toward that Jetsons-like future.
The biggest reason for this may be so obvious it's hard to see - the water! Let's face it, as anyone whose smartphone has met an untimely death as a result of water damage can tell you, electronics and water don't mix. And not only does water easily damage electronics, but electricity and water, for obvious safety reasons, don't mix.
Even so, we're confident that over the next few years, that shimmering blue oasis in your backyard will be pulled into the future right along with the house it sits behind. And what will the future connected pool look like? We'd bet on more automatic cleaning and maintenance technology for one, as that would solve one of the biggest pain points facing pool owners today. Perhaps a hot tub that uncovers itself and turns on the jets in response to your smart watch detecting your stress levels are too high is in the cards? Whatever it is, you can count on Wild West to carry the latest technology as it becomes available.