New 9650iQ Sport allows control, information from anywhere
People these days expect control of their homes on the go, says David Goldman, director of product marketing at California-based pool equipment manufacturer Zodiac Pool Systems, and Polaris’ newest robotic cleaner, the 9650iQ Sport, allows them to do just that. Using the iAquaLink app anywhere in the world, users can program, control and access all kinds of information about their pool cleaner.
“In addition, they have more user-driven information and feedback immediately from their cleaner,” says Skye Svenningsen, product manager for automatic pool cleaners at Zodiac.
For troubleshooting, instead of having to dig through the junk drawer to find the owners manual to look up an error code, the app tells the customer exactly what’s wrong. “It says the cleaner is out of the water,” Svenningsen says. “Then they can simply click on that and it gives them helpful tips on how to fix the issue.”
For pool professionals, this can greatly reduce time spent troubleshooting simple things over the phone with customers, Svenningsen says. “Putting the power in [the customers’] hands is a way to increase confidence and make them feel like they truly are the owner of their experience.”
For older pools that need an upgrade or customers who don’t need a full automation system, the 9650iQ offers all the same benefits.
At a recent dealer meeting, Zodiac surveyed its dealers to find out what percentage of new pool builds featured connected technology. “The majority of pools are going connected,” Goldman says of the findings. “It’s not a niche thing. The next big wave is the retrofit market. There are a lot more pools out there than what’s built each year. Pool-service companies are discovering that they can install several during the offseason. And they can make a lot of money doing it.”
The cleaner has four-wheel drive to help it get over obstacles and prevent it from getting stuck. The company has also included a new tangle-reducing swivel. “Imagine that your cleaner is going on its patterning through the water; as it makes its twists and turns the cable is twisting or turning on itself,” Svenningsen says. “Due to the swivel having low torque, it is easy for it to twist and untangle those loops.”
Connectivity is a great feature, but it still has to be a great cleaner — and Jandy says this is one of its best performing cleaners to date. It’s part of the company’s Trade Series Exclusive products, which are only sold through brick-and-mortar dealers and not online.
“Whether it’s an automation system, a pump or a cleaner,” Goldman says, “in all these cases it boils down the convenience and the ability to say, ‘I want to do something’ and then being able to take action at that moment.”