OmniLogic controller brings high-tech options to pool controls
Ask a pool builder about the controllers they install on a build, and they’re usually committed to the models available from the pool companies they represent. Hayward Pool Products has erased these borders with the release of OmniLogic, its controller for pools and spas.
You might be one of the hundreds who spent some up-close time with OmniLogic at Hayward’s booth during the 2013 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Las Vegas. According to Greg Fournier, Hayward’s senior product manager for automation and backyard synergies, virtually everyone who visited the booth at the show was “instinctively able to turn on features and save settings with almost no learning.”
The OmniLogic controller has been one of two products Fournier has been primarily working on since starting with the company three years ago.
“When we started this project, we went out and interviewed hundreds of end-users, pool builders and service professionals — ours and our competitors — and, overall, they said we needed to concentrate on simplicity; that’s the key to the design of this new controller,” Fournier says.
The interface is easy to personalize to each user, starting with assigning images to control buttons. Without the need for text — or, in my case, reading glasses by the pool — a picture of a color light, filter pump or heat icon allows quick identification of what you wish to control. You can also name the icon whatever you want.
Fournier stresses if you like what you see, save it. “With this controller, I can go out in my backyard and turn on everything just the way I want it; my waterfall, my spa (at the ideal temperature), the lighting in blue, my landscape lights…everything the way I want, and save it on the controller as a theme,” Fournier says. “Whenever I want that theme, I select it. It’s really about orchestrating the entire backyard.” No wonder field response to Omni Logic has been overwhelmingly positive. You can even operate the controller via iPhone and Android apps.
Fournier says OmniLogic makes life easier for pool builders, too. “They’ll spend less time training the end user and less time troubleshooting,” he says. “If they really need to help a customer after installation, the builder can go online, log into the customers system and do what’s needed. They don’t have to spend an hour driving to and from the customer. You can solve a problem and deliver great customer service in seconds.”
The OmniLogic controller is a modular system. Starting with the base unit, pool builders now build off one system. OmniLogic can expand to the number of relays, valves, sensors and chlorination cells needed from one base unit. “There’s a base unit, an expansion unit, a single relay, a bank of four relays, a valve sensor and low voltage relay card,” says Fournier. “Everything is plug and play. The builder knows that for every system he builds, OmniLogic has what he needs.”
Builders can assign controller options based on the design functionality of the pool and its features. If the customer decides to change or add features, it normally requires a controller change. In this scenario, Fournier says OmniLogic can save a build: “For us it’s just plugging in another relay,” Fournier says. “There’s no risk in making the wrong decision. The base system with four relays also feels much larger because the capabilities we’re adding for builders enhance the builders experience and the pool owners, too.”
Another builder benefit is the ability to back up saved pool themes to a USB thumb drive — a time saver for template builders. When finished with the build, plug in the thumb drive, press ‘update configuration’ on the controller and back it up. Data can also be copied and shared with the customer on a duplicate thumb drive. This saves headache and hassle when settings are unavoidably trashed during normal use.
“Anything you expect from a pool controller,” Fournier says, “OmniLogic is sure to exceed.”