New illumaVision can project pictures and videos on the bottom of a pool
By Jim Raposa
Once in awhile, one product or service crosses over to inspire another product in a different business category. Such is the case with illumaVision from Pentair. This two-in-one gadget is both a color LED light and a projector that displays images or video in your pool.
“It’s kind of like Apple making high-tech products nobody specifically asked for, but someone had a cool product idea,” says David MacCallum, Pentair’s senior product manager for lights and automation. MacCallum says the idea came about when someone pointed to the projector in a conference room and said, “I wonder what this thing would look like under water.”
“The initial wave of responses was that it would look horrible and the image wouldn’t be clearly visible,” MacCallum says. “In spite of the naysayers, a prototype was built — and to our surprise — the image was VERY clear! We’ve miniaturized the projector and put it into a pool light housing with servo motors so the customer can move the image all around the pool.”
MacCallum believes illumaVision will totally change the dynamic in the backyard. “Think of the pool owner who turns on their multicolor pool lights to set a mood. What we’re adding with illumaVision is the ability to project large images or videos on the bottom of your pool in addition to color LED lighting.”
The illumaVision contains a powerful computer and 8GB of flash memory for picture and video storage. It also supports most popular picture and video formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP4, MKV, AVI and FLV. A power-line adapter comes with the unit, which allows files to be sent to illumaVision over a home’s electrical wiring, directly to illumaVision. No additional wiring is required.
The unit (projector and light) must be professionally installed in the pool. Then plug the power line adapter into a standard wall power outlet, close to the home router so an Ethernet LAN cable can connect the router and adapter. With the app loaded on the tablet, select the desired video or image file and follow the on-screen instructions to send it to the unit — and onto the pool.
Consumers must use a tablet interface to operate illumaVision; the interface app is a free download for Android and iOS tablets from their respective app stores. With the app loaded, select the image or video file, and send it to illumaVision. The app also gives the consumer options to adjust the dimensions, image size and placement of the projected image.
MacCallum says his target market is both residential or commercial customers. “Hotels have poolside events where they could display pictures,” he says, “At a wedding, they can display photos of the couple as they grew up; for corporate events the company logo can be proudly displayed. For homeowners, we’re really targeting the high-end pool owner who wants the latest and greatest gadget to enhance their pool experience, or maybe to wow his neighbors with cool stuff.” Even in the home environment, there’s ample thematic application for just about any kind of gathering imaginable.
If beta testing is a success gauge, MacCallum has high hopes for illumaVision. Each year he recruits 20 to 30 people to test new products. “In my 13 years here, I’ve never seen the response I’ve received for illumaVision,” MacCallum says. “Prospective testers were coming out of the woodwork to test it, even before I officially sought testers. Sometimes I can’t find enough of them; this time my inbox was overflowing with people begging to beta test illumaVision.”