How Jacuzzi launched smart hot tubs in 6 months

When you think about hot tubs, you may think about relaxation, comfort, or recovery. This is the main allure of owning a hot tub, and you wouldn’t think there is much business to innovate or change hot tub relaxation. However, when Jacuzzi thinks about hot tubs, they only think about ways to innovate hot tub relaxation.

Not so long ago, Jacuzzi had a simple idea to transform their hot tubs and enhance their customer’s experience with IoT technology. With Particle, they were able to build thousands of cellular-connected hot tubs that can be controlled wirelessly via a smartphone application. The hot tubs can also alert consumers and distributors about potential power outage or maintenance issues. These features are not only improving the customer’s experience but saving the company money with less in-person inspections.

“While many companies view a connected product as a way to cut out middlemen, Jacuzzi is trying to use connectivity to enhance the relationship the customer has with its dealer network.” Stacey HigginbothamStacey on IoT


Jacuzzi Seeks Innovation with IoT

Jacuzzi wanted to build a connected hot tub for a long time but didn’t have the sufficient resources to implement the hardware, software, or connectivity on their own. They didn’t know who to partner with, or the type of IoT technology they should use for their device. While there are many IoT hardware and software solutions in the market, none of them offered Jacuzzi the customization and flexibility they needed to build their IoT solution.

 

An immediate problem with hot tubs is that they are typically located outdoors, far from home routers. Barriers such as walls could also interfere with Wi-Fi signals. And while there are many products available to help extend Wi-Fi signals, this would require in-home setup and networking knowledge. Due to these complications, Jacuzzi had to figure out how to build a machine-to-machine interface that could connect to their outdoor hot tubs to the cloud.

And while connecting is one part of the problem, there was no point in building a connected product if it didn’t add value to the customer’s experience. In other words, Jacuzzi needed to find an IoT platform that gave them the tools they needed, and the expertise to build a connected product that provided continuous, recurring value to the company and customer.


Jacuzzi and Particle Build Smart Hot Tubs

 

Jacuzzi ultimately used Particle’s platform for building and launching thousands of connected hot tubs. With Particle’s engineering service, Particle Studios, Jacuzzi had the engineering fidelity they needed to deploy an IoT product at scale. Particle’s team of engineers helped Jacuzzi tackle the most challenging parts of building an IoT product from hardware, firmware development, to manufacturing.

For hardware, Jacuzzi used Particle’s E Series so the device could connect to the Internet over cellular networks, This also gave them the flexibility to install their hot tubs anywhere and remain confident that they wouldn’t lose connection. The E Series and all the other hardware components were stored in an enclosure so it could be installed within the hot tub and be kept safe from multiple environmental conditions.

Particle’s Device Cloud was also integrated with Jacuzzi’s Salesforce environment so distributors could monitor hot tub performance remotely. With this new remote monitoring functionality, distributors could monitor and diagnose maintenance issues wirelessly, improving customer service operations.

“In the past distributors would get a call from a consumer saying, ‘I’ve got a problem with the hot tub.’ And they would roll a van with and hope that they had what’s needed to repair that hot tub. Now they run remote diagnostics, and they’ve got a pretty good idea what’s wrong with that hot tub before they go out in the field.”Mark Allen, Vice President of IT at Jacuzzi


How it works

SmartTub — the custom mobile phone app for connected Jacuzzi hot tubs

The answer to creating the ultimate hot tub experience was building a smartphone controllable hot tub. This smartphone application has provided continuous, recurring value by improving customer’s interactions with their hot tubs and improving service operations. SmartTub allows owners to oversee and manage a wide variety of variables:

  • View and calculate energy usage 
  • Adjust key settings, such as jet settings and temperature
  • Receive power outage notifications and maintenance reminders
  • Contact distributors when hot tub issues happen
  • Access hot tub support content
  • And more!

The Bottom Line

For Particle and Jacuzzi, this IoT project proved immensely successful. Jacuzzi shipped thousands of smart hot tubs to market and plan to connect the majority of their hot tubs within the next five years.

Want to learn more about Jacuzzi and how Particle helped them create the ultimate hot tub experience? You can read the full case study here.

Author Bio

Technical Content Writer