The Future of the Pool Industry: 3D Pool Designs
Occasionally, soon-to-be pool owners experience sleepless nights because they don’t know what to expect at the end of the project. Even though you employ the best pool company in the United States, it is normal to have a fear of uncertainty. Swimming pools are costly, and one mistake during construction can cost thousands of dollars. But did you know it is possible to see your dream pool even before construction begins? Well, 3D pool designs allow you to tour your backyard and enjoy the pool before construction. Seeing the project’s outcome before construction gives you the unique privilege of modifying the pool according to your requirements. However, a good percentage of homeowners are often satisfied by the showcased 3D pool design.
Justus, president and founder of Toronto-based Poolscape, Inc., says, “There won’t be any complaint on the pool size when clients get to experience the pool in virtual reality.” Consequently, 3D pool designs are helping pool companies become more successful in their sales.
Not so long ago, pool contractors presented world-class pool designs on paper. Although this gave homeowners an idea of what to expect, they remained anxious until they saw the project’s real outcome. Today, things are pretty much different, thanks to technology. Pool builders now showcase a wide range of pool designs on projectors. And they are not just simple pool designs. They give the client a detailed overview of every modification in their backyard.
Creating these virtual pool designs requires pool builders to use certain software like Structure Studios, IrisVR, Pool Studio, and Vip3D. This software makes it possible for pool designers to develop exceptional pool designs using their computers or laptops. For example, Structure Studios can create life-like pools, pergolas, waterfalls in a customer’s backyard. 3D pool design presentations from this software often look real, detailed, and clear. Not to mention the image, video, and graphic quality of this app is out of this world. Subsequently, virtual pool designs made from this software enable customers to see the project’s result.
Virtual reality forces you to be creative
One of Houston’s best pool contractors, Christopher Anderson, got the unique privilege of trying out several pool design software. He reported that Pool Studio enables you to do almost anything with the pool design. Typically Pool Studio gives you the unique chance of designing with as little or as many features, depending on your client’s requirements. But you have to consider how some features will appear on the 3D design before you incorporate them. So, generally, virtual reality forces you to become more creative. Owner of Custom Design Pools & Landscaping, Christopher Anderson, also says that coming up with a pool 3D design consumes time and effort. In fact, you spend about 30 to 40 hours on one project. Remember, the virtual design has to match the outcome of the project. Thus, creating a spectacular pool 3D design takes days.
Importance of virtual reality
Some customers do not understand what 3D means. Explaining the meaning of a 3D pool design using words is futile. But once you allow them to experience the virtual reality of their pool design, they immediately understand what you are trying to say. Virtual reality enables the customer to see whether all their requirements are met. For example, if the client mentioned that they wanted a shade for their daughter’s birthday party at 2 p.m, pool designers will incorporate the shade and the sun at their best positions. This way, they deliver 100% customer satisfaction. And in case of any modifications, most designers are willing to incorporate them.
Virtual reality pool designs also imitate the unique and pleasant sounds radiated by water features. For instance, if you wanted a spillover spa, the 3D pool designs will show how water cascades into the pool and emanated soothing sounds.
Industry veterans conclude that virtual reality significantly increases your sales. This tool helps you stay competitive in the pool industry, and in turn, you gain a large market share. Even so, coming up with a 3D pool design is not a walk in the park. It takes at least 30 hours. As a result, several pool designers may be afraid of showcasing all their virtual pool designs, especially if the client does not appear serious. Anderson says, “It’s high time we start charging customers to compensate all the time we’ve taken to come up with the 3D pool designs.”
3D pool designs: Virtual 3D only scratches the surface
The main downside of virtual reality is that most software is not compatible with standard laptops and computers. Thus, virtual reality requires pool designers to upgrade their desktops and laptops. And this is expensive. So, pool experts report that most pool designers will embrace this 3D technology five years from now. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, 3D pool designs always come from the designer’s creativity. Virtual reality is just a better way to express stunning pool designs. Ultimately, pool contractors and designers have to continue learning and researching the best twenty-first-century pool designs.
What is Energy Star and How is Pentair Involved?
With annual events like Pool Opening Day placing sustainability at the forefront of our shared narrative, many strive to inspire change for a better, cleaner future. At Pentair, sustainability isn’t just a seasonal concern; it’s a year-round endeavor tied with the core of our values. We focus on smart, sustainable water solutions, and our pool products in particular support a longer-term vision for sustainability.
WHAT IS ENERGY STAR AND HOW IS PENTAIR INVOLVED?
The ENERGY STAR logo is iconic in the United States, but the importance of this program is unbeknownst to many Americans. The program is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and aims to improve energy efficiency, hence why its logo is displayed on the appliance label of qualifying products available for purchase.
Pentair has a steadfast commitment to the ENERGY STAR program, due in part to the many benefits it provides to the public. Specifically, a pool with ENERGY STAR certified products includes features that reduce energy consumption, support water conservation and help save homeowners money. This impact on both the climate and a homeowner’s pocketbook has caused some to intentionally seek out ENERGY STAR products.
In July 2021, the Department of Energy (DOE) Dedicated Purpose Pool Pump (DPPP) regulations began. This new industry-wide regulation aims to make pool pumps more energy-efficient, and Pentair was a proud joint stakeholder in developing the new mandate. According to the DOE, pool owners have the potential of saving $2,140 in 12-months and improving yearly operating costs by about $550* when they update a pool pump that complies with the DPPP rules.
WHICH PENTAIR POOL PRODUCTS ARE ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED?
More than a decade ago, Pentair introduced the industry to a new pool of knowledge with variable speed pump technology. Pentair variable speed pumps feature programmable speed or flow settings, allowing them to run at different speeds, unlike single speed pumps. Variable speed pumps operate at a low flow rate (or speed) for extended periods to circulate chemicals. However, to effectively skim debris, they will also run at a higher flow rate for short periods throughout the day. This balance helps reduce energy costs for pool owners.
The flagship pool pump at Pentair is the IntelliFlo3® Variable Speed and Flow Pool Pump. Its patented sensorless speed and flow technology adjust to a pool’s conditions, helping provide even higher energy efficiency and savings than the last model. What makes this ENERGY STAR certified pump so remarkable is that it can help homeowners save up to 90%** on energy consumption! In addition to providing notable energy savings, this pump also brings pool technology into the 21st century with an optional touchscreen for a sleek, modern touch.
Energy-focused innovation doesn’t stop there. Pentair offers several solutions that allow homeowners to save energy while enjoying the fun, relaxation, and socialization that swimming pools provide.
HOW MUCH HAVE POOL OWNERS SAVED WITH THE HELP OF PENTAIR PRODUCTS?
In 2022, Pentair offered 17 ENERGY STAR certified pool pump models. This helped U.S. consumers save approximately 1 billion kWh of energy, resulting in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of 414,974 tons of CO2 and saving $142 million in operating costs.*** Since 2005, Pentair’s ENERGY STAR pool pumps have been responsible for a cumulative 38.9 billion kWh of energy savings, a reduction of 15.9 million tons of CO2 emissions and $5.3 billion in operative cost savings for U.S. consumers.
HOW IS PENTAIR LEADING THE CHARGE BY COMMITTING TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR A BETTER FUTURE?
Water is life’s most essential resource, and the Pentair team is not content sitting back and just going with the flow… we strive to lead and innovate the way toward a better future. This is demonstrated by:
- Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions impact
- Furthering water stewardship within our operations
- Innovating to deliver water and energy efficient solutions
- Building a more environmentally and socially sustainable supply chain
This is just the tip of the iceberg – philanthropic efforts at Pentair engage communities around the world. The future begins tomorrow, so we’ve started planning for it today.
WHAT CAN POOL OWNERS DO TO REDUCE THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
Perhaps the easiest way to reduce one’s impact is to purchase energy efficient products from companies that focus on sustainability. In a world where so many day-to-day tasks create pollution, making environmentally conscious choices often starts at the source.
For a more hands-on approach, pool owners can also:
- Opt for more environmentally friendly pool cleaning chemicals
- Lean on technology that automatically adjusts to pool conditions to prevent unnecessary energy usage
- Regularly clean your filters and skimmer baskets to avoid blockages, which can lead to higher energy usage and costs
MAKING A MORE POOLFECT FUTURE.
With a focus on sustainability, the future is bright. After all, we’ve only got one Earth; we might as well celebrate and protect it! With the Pentair vision in mind, the future isn’t just perfect… it’s poolfect. Let’s dive in together!
*82 Fed. Reg. 5652 (January 18, 2017). Results for standard-size self-priming pool filter pumps.
**Savings based on variable speed pump compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day at an average of $0.16 per kWh in a 20,000 gallon pool. Actual savings may vary based on local utility rates, pool size, pump run time, pump horsepower, pump rpm, plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor and other hydraulic factors. Individual Weighted Energy Factor (WEF) scores and savings may vary by model.
***Savings are based on a weighted average annual kWh savings from the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) at $0.14 / kWh. Individual Weighted Energy Factor (WEF) scores and savings may vary by model. For more information regarding the energy efficiency features of current Pentair pool pump offerings, including WEF scores, please visit pentair.com/energystar.
Innovations in Technology Impacting the Pool Industry
The pool industry is dynamic. Over the years, it has adopted technology advancements to meet industry needs and market demands. When it comes to automated pool products, numerous technologies enhance the pool experience for homeowners and pool professionals.
Over time, changing industry dynamics and customer demands have led to product innovations and customer service process improvements across the industry. Consumer desires can drive other transformations like the capability to control and monitor everything from a smartphone or the need for more energy-efficient, sustainable solutions. These marketplace trends are expected to continue to push the industry to focus on delivering simple and smart solutions to pool owners and the pool pros who serve them.
Understanding the needs of pool owners and servicers alike is a crucial jumping-off point to inspire innovative thinking. The pool industry can also benefit from exploring what’s next in tech outside of pools. For example, what trends are shaping consumer electronics? How do people want to interact with their products? How are organizations adapting augmented and virtual reality technologies to transform their customer’s purchasing journey? When the industry looks outside of its “swim lane,” it has the benefit of exposure to different perspectives. Different perspectives can bring innovative ways of thinking about product design and customer experience. While there are several trends and new technologies to consider, some of the most innovative thinking is driven by connected and automated products and increased demands for greater sustainability.
Smart, Connected and Automated Solutions
Many pool owners want to spend more time enjoying their pools and less time maintaining them. To meet this need, manufacturers are challenged to create and deliver products and solutions with increased connectivity capabilities to make pool control more effortless and user-friendly. And, striking the balance between meeting the speed and ease a pool owner desires and ensuring the product is also easy for pool pros to service and monitor can help provide win-win solutions for the industry.
Smart, connected, and automated products not only can provide ease and peace of mind to pool owners but they are also transforming the way pool professionals work. Some connected pumps, for example, allow pool pros to install the product efficiently with intuitive step-by-step prompts via an app. Less time installing means moving on to the next job quicker.
Remote monitoring is also changing the way the service industry works. The status and operating conditions of some pool products can be remotely monitored via an app allowing the pro to stay one step ahead and be proactive with service, even with busy schedules and increased demands. For products that provide remote monitoring, software updates could be pushed over-the-air (OTA), meaning the pool professional doesn’t need to be at the pool pad to ensure the customer’s equipment is running optimally, saving time and effort.
Automation systems are also rapidly evolving. By leveraging cloud technology, pool professionals and pool owners could experience improved stability, connectivity and centralized control of their pool devices. By connecting to apps on a phone or tablet, homeowners can check their pool status remotely, receive alerts and easily adjust features such as lights with the touch of a finger.
Energy Savings and Environmental Considerations
While connected and automated products and solutions are a big focus, this is not the only trend driving innovation. Pool owners are also increasingly prioritizing energy-saving efforts and monitoring their environmental impact, also reflecting energy efficiency and environmental trends that exist in the larger marketplace. These developments are encouraging innovation in pool products and solutions to further focus on and maximize energy efficiency. Such innovations include continued evolution of pool pump technology, high-efficiency heaters, and energy-efficient lighting, among others.
An Eye to the Future
Manufacturers are increasingly adopting new technologies to improve product design, efficiency, and customer experience to support the evolving innovation trends in the pool industry. Education and support will help with the adoption of these innovations for pool pros and customers. As we progress through 2023 and beyond, the pool industry is expected to continue to evolve. Listening closely to customers and understanding needs and trends will help keep pace and even provide industry leadership into the future.
What’s in a Domain Name? Ryan Maltbie Aqcuires BBQS.com
In the competitive world of online retail, particularly in the pool, spa, and outdoor living sectors; brand recognition plays a crucial role in success. One entrepreneur who understands this well is Ryan Maltbie, the founder of BBQGrills.com, an online retailer specializing in barbecue grills and outdoor kitchen accessories. Maltbie recently made a strategic move by acquiring the domain name BBQs.com, which he believes will further propel his brand to new heights.
In our recent interview, we discussed the significance of domain names in the online retail market. William Shakespeare didn’t put much stock in a name when he said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” However, Maltbie argues that in today’s digital world, a domain name can make a significant difference in brand recognition and success.
Maltbie shared that his business BBQGrills.com has been operating for over three and a half years and has experienced tremendous success in the e-commerce space with its current domain name. He believes that the domain name has played a pivotal role in elevating his brand to its current level of success.
“I would single-handedly state that a domain name is probably the most predominant way of having a successful e-commerce business. Without it, if you don’t have something that’s either trendy, something that is easily rememberable something that’s easy to spell, it’s going to be incredibly difficult. I couldn’t imagine doing the business that we are at this level with Ryan’s Outdoor Kitchens.com. It wouldn’t work,” said Maltbie.
However, Maltbie didn’t stop there, he said acquiring the shorter domain name BBQs.com was a strategic move to further enhance his brand’s online presence and solidify its position as a leading online retailer in the barbecue sector.
Brands Are Willing To Pay a Premium For The Right Domain
There are a multitude of companies who are willing to pay a premium for punchy, brandable domain names. Hotels.com sold for $11 million in 2001. New emerging technologies like NFTs.com sold for $15 million in 2022, demonstrating that brands are willing to pay handsomely for the exact domain they want. Even Elon Musk paid $11 million back in 2014 to acquire Tesla.com. So clearly, that old Shakespeare quote isn’t very relevant in the online sector.
Maltbie expressed excitement about the prospects of BBQs.com and hinted at some exciting plans for the domain. While he did not divulge specific details, it is clear that he sees the acquisition of BBQs.com as a strategic move to strengthen his brand and expand its reach in the online retail market.
Reasons Why Brands Are Paying Top Dollar For Domain Names
Brands are often willing to pay top dollar for the domain they want due to the significant impact that a domain name can have on their online presence and brand recognition. Just like in Ryan Maltbie’s case with his acquisition of BBQs.com, a relevant and memorable domain name can help establish credibility, build trust with customers, and drive traffic to a website.
A domain name that accurately reflects a brand’s identity or niche can help establish professionalism and authenticity, which can be crucial in gaining the confidence of online shoppers. It’s also true that a memorable domain name can help drive traffic to a website. A short and relevant domain name, like BBQs.com, is easy to remember and can be typed directly into the address bar, increasing direct traffic to the website. It can also be more shareable and memorable in marketing efforts, such as word-of-mouth recommendations or social media mentions, leading to increased brand exposure and website visits.
Furthermore, a premium domain name can also provide a competitive advantage over other brands in the market. In today’s crowded online landscape, having a unique and memorable domain name can help a brand stand out and differentiate itself from competitors. It can also prevent potential customers from being confused or directed to a competitor’s website with a similar domain name.
Lastly, domain names can also hold intrinsic value as digital assets that can appreciate over time. Just like real estate, premium domain names are finite resources, and acquiring one can be seen as a long-term investment. Brands are willing to pay top dollar for a domain they want because they see it as a valuable asset that can contribute to their overall brand equity and online presence, potentially resulting in higher sales and revenue in the future.
The acquisition of BBQs.com is certainly a testament to the importance of domain names in the online retail sector. A memorable and relevant domain name can establish brand recognition, help drive traffic to a website, and potentially lead to increased sales. In the case of BBQGrills.com, the acquisition of BBQs.com is expected to further solidify its position as a leading online retailer in the barbecue sector and open up new opportunities for growth.
Listen to our entire conversation with Ryan Maltbie on the Pool Magazine podcast.
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