If you’re lucky enough to own a pool, you know that cleaning it isn’t as fun as taking a dip. That’s what Justin Miller and his business partner, Mark Janes, realized when looking at their own pools. “Shouldn’t there be a way to make a pool smart?” they wondered. And that’s when they came up with pHin.
The device looks more like a battery-powered air freshener than a smart home device at first glance. However, the $399 price will remind you that pHin is anything but ordinary. The device has a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that continuously monitors your pool’s water chemistry. When the chemicals need adjusting, you’ll get a notification from the pHin app on your iOS or Android device.
Pre-measured, color-coded, water-soluble chemical pods arrive at your house as soon as there’s a change in water chemistry. Plop them in, and your pool is as good as new. This is safer than having to measure the chemicals yourself, Miller tells Digital Trends. With pHin, you can also access on-demand pool service and contact a professional whenever you need one.
For the early bird price of $399, you’ll receive a pHin device, the mobile app, and 12 months of chemical pods. Eventually, this price is going to increase to $499. If you don’t use your pool year-round, there is also a seasonal plan subscription option that starts at $149 a year. There are also plans for hot-tub owners. Be warned if you’re already looking forward to a lazier summer: The product won’t start shipping until 2016.
The device itself is guaranteed for a lifetime through the company’s subscription service, which means they’ll replace it when the special reference gel gets used up.
For Miller and Janes, this is just the beginning of their company, ConnectedYard. “pHin is well-positioned to be the hub or center of the connected backyard,” says Miller.