Arctic Spas Talks Up It’s Smartphone App
The Application Can Control Spas Remotely, And Even Apple Has Noticed
In June of 2011, Arctic Spa hot tub owners were introduced to the Arctic Spas smartphone app. The first of its kind, the Arctic Spas app works with any spa equipped with an on-Spa Eco-Pack control system. Users simply download the free app to the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android, with Blackberry added soon, and have full access to the spa’s control panel.
“Prevalence of the technology made creating the app an obvious step,” says Jody Gamracy, marketing manager of Arctic Spas. “We’ve always tried to be one step ahead with new things in the hot tub game.”
The Arctic Spas’ app gives owners access to everything on the hot tub control pad. It can stream music through the spa stereo system from any BlueTooth-enabled device, control the temperature, turn the lights on or off, and adjust the filtration cycle and jet settings. There are some additional features bundled into the app as well, such as access to the full owner’s manual.
Consumers concerned about getting their smartphone wet will find it comforting to know that Arctic Spas sells a completely submersible case for around $50. “You can actually float your smartphone around in the hot tub,” says Gamracy.
Dave Andersen is the general manager for Global Spa Components, a manufacturer of hot tub electronics and the company that developed the Arctic Spas app. With a background in research and development, Andersen has been witness to many great ideas falling short of success because consumers wouldn’t spend the money for them.
“My favorite feature of the app is, for little cost (when combined with the waterproof case), the consumer gets a full-color functional topside control, remote control, in-home monitoring system and all the documents and user manuals they need for the spa, all in a handy little device,” Andersen says. “And the best part is, they aren’t spending the extra money simply for a hot tub gadget — they can use their device for all the other reasons people love their smartphones as well.”
Marcel Roles, general manager of Apollo Spas in Washington and Idaho, says his company shows the on-spa technology and associated app to every customer shopping for a spa. “They are all keenly interested in the new technology,” Roles says. “We haven’t sold one Arctic product this year without this feature as part of their package.”
Gamracy found himself pleasantly surprised by the response from consumers. Arctic Spas receives much of its feedback through its Facebook page and website, and he sees consumers overwhelmingly saying they want to buy an Arctic hot tub just because they can control it from their smartphone. “I think it’s a minor feature when shopping for a hot tub — there are a lot more important things to consider — so I was surprised by consumer reactions in that regard,” he says.
Apple Inc. also took notice of the innovative smartphone app; the world-famous electronics company called both Arctic Spas and Global Spa Components for more information on the product. “Most applications are self-contained games or utilities, or communicate with the Internet. According to Apple, this is one of the first applications that controls an external piece of hardware,” Andersen says.
Long-term goals for the app include being able to control the spa from anywhere, not just within the Wi-Fi radius of your hot tub. “Phases two and three are going to add even more features for very little cost,” Andersen says.
You can download the Arctic Spas App from the iTunes store.
This article is originally appeared in Spa Retailer magazine, in the Jan/Feb 2012 print edition. The author is Michelle Cramer and it is re-published here with permission.