Will digitalisation produce the certified master for swimming pools 4.0?
Interview with the swimming pool expert David Ackermann / The future of the industry, an important topic during the interbad Innovation Days
In terms of automation and digitalisation, there is still great room for improvement in the swimming pool industry, says David Ackermann. In an interview with the certified master for swimming pools he talks about necessary modernisation measures and the future of the industry.
Mr. Ackermann, you are a certified master for swimming pools and have already worked as an operations manager in the swimming pool industry. You also run the YouTube channel «Schwimmbad.TV». What is its objective?
I want to modernise the swimming pool industry. I want to explain things and provide content for colleagues regarding current topics. It is passion, it is a hobby, and it is great fun.
Is the occupation of swimming pool specialist dying out, and what is the reason for this?
In our industry there is still great room for improvement in terms of automation and digitalisation. There are a large number of topics which we should learn during training in order to make our career profile future-oriented, for example sensors or principles of education and administrative law. I therefore do not actually believe that the career will die out. It was more of a call to now finally take the next step to modernise everything and make the occupation future-oriented.
What form should the certified master for swimming pools 4.0 take?
We are already much further with development than you may think. Digitalisation will probably produce the certified master for swimming pools 4.0 with supporting AI which can recognise through camera surveillance, for example, different difficult situations in a swimming pool. Especially in the area of technology, there is a need here for better basic knowledge of these systems and sensors. Specialists could therefore also perform many tasks themselves to save costs. Swimming pools, which need enormous subsidies, could therefore be maintained and operated more efficiently. Health is definitely another aspect. You are now seeing this trend primarily in the private pool sector. In my opinion, this will and must also increase enormously in future. Common diseases are increasing and swimming or just being in water helps considerably to keeping your body fit and healthy. I therefore believe that we must invest even more money in the area of education, for example for children’s swimming courses or the training and entertainment area. We can still achieve a great deal here and there will be high demand.
Are there other things which could be done to remain adaptable?
In future many processes will be automated, especially in the case of AI for access control or with technical aspects such as water treatment. Digitalisation will replace a large number of activities which are repetitive. This naturally raises the question of what will be left in the end. Of course, an intelligent camera can detect someone drowning, but a human being then has to come to the rescue. Swimming pool guests will also always need a contact person. That’s the reason why I love this job so much.
Let’s stay looking at the future. Within the context of climate change and environmental protection, are swimming pools still actually contemporary?
Although the energy consumption required by a swimming pool – whether an indoor pool or a wellness pool – is naturally enormous, there are many interesting approaches: for example solar energy or geothermal power where alternative energy sources can certainly be utilised and are actually being used right now.
What innovative concepts will shape the industry in addition to AI and these technological innovations?
Let’s think about cryptocurrencies for example. If it were possible to measure intrinsic values such as satisfaction, health maintenance or happiness, a completely new system could be developed in conjunction with health insurance companies. Access and pricing in swimming pools could then be regulated in such a way that ultimately the guest does not pay, but that other systems will – and must – be available with health insurance companies through this new value added.
You will give a talk during the interbad Innovation Days on the topic «The changing face of swimming pools – personnel management as the focal point». What can the participants look forward to?
Especially in regard to digitalisation, I chose a keynote in which I will tell two stories. One story is a true event which I personally experienced during the summer season in a huge open-air swimming pool. And then with the second story I conceived the pendant in the future. What I thought it would be. The objective of the comparison is to simply show how it is possible to get rid of operational blindness or habits and openly confront the future.
How important are the interbad Innovation Days this year for the industry?
Generally speaking, they will be extremely important: they will be a meeting point not only for companies, but also between experts. There will be an incredible amount of innovations and aspects which could not be presented in the last two years on account of the pandemic. Discussions with company representatives and among experts, company managers and numerous people from the industry will be extremely important. And naturally also for me in person. What’s new in the industry? Where is development heading? What will pump technology look like in future? First and foremost, this will mean looking at networks and innovations, and exchanging ideas and information with colleagues – an extremely important aspect.
You can also find part of the interview with David Ackermann on YouTube.
About the Interbad Innovation Days
interbad, the leading trade fair for swimming pools, saunas and spas, will follow new paths this year: «interbad Innovation Days – Congress/Show/Networking» is the name of the event that will again bring the swimming pool, sauna and wellness industry together in a live setting on 22 and 23 September 2021. With a combination of a Congress, an exhibition and networking, the condensed format will enable visitors to hold technical discussions, participate in network forums and gain insights into the latest trends and technical innovations.