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Hydrohex: Hutchison Technologies latest partner in Aquafitness

Health & Fitness

Hydrohex: Hutchison Technologies latest partner in Aquafitness

Hydrohex is a virtual workout platform for swimming pools that activates quiet pool times with engaging and immersive fitness content. The cinematic underwater views and inspiring instruction, categorised clearly into four class types, have proven instant success among members as well as supporting pool operations.

Hutchison Technologies is proud to be partnering with Hydrohex to deliver a series of IP-rated screens and audio solutions that can transform pool hall activities, programmes, and experiences when using Hydrohex’s virtual aquafitness classes. To celebrate this partnership, we spoke with Hydrohex in their latest blog about the concerns when it comes to safely installing AV technologies poolside and how these solutions can revolutionise pool facilities. 

Diving into the Future: Redefining Pool Experiences with AV Solutions

As the digital revolution sweeps across diverse sectors, swimming pools are beginning to ride the wave of opportunity provided by digital solutions.  Our journey at Hydrohex, coupled with our successful collaborations with partners like Hutchison Technologies, has led us to embrace the dynamic potential of Audiovisual (AV) solutions. In this article, we delve into the benefits of screen installations in pool facilities and walk you through vital technical insights for seamless integration.

Why Screens and Displays Make Waves in Swimming Pools

Integrating screens in swimming pool environments offers a plethora of exciting advantages:

Information Flow and Branding: Screens are an excellent medium for sharing essential details like pool rules, opening hours, and upcoming events. Plus, they double as an effective marketing billboard for fitness, swimming, and wellness services.

Visual Safety Aids: Screens can serve as visual safety compasses, displaying emergency protocols and safety guidelines, ensuring everyone enjoys a secure and fun-filled pool visit.

Boosting Engagement: From interactive games to virtual aqua fitness classes and unique educational content, screens can transform the pool experience, captivating and engaging swimmers of all ages.

A launch day in Burlövsbadet, Sweden

Taking it a Step Further: The Symbiosis of Sound and Visuals

To gain a deeper understanding of these benefits and the considerations involved, we turned to our trusted partner, Hutchison Technologies. Known for their extensive experience in AV solution implementations in aquatic facilities, they have valuable insights to share:

AV solutions comprise both screens and audio systems. Could you share the challenges you encounter when installing these elements in pool areas, and how you overcome them?

Screens: The key challenge is retrofitting the screens in an existing pool hall. This can involve installing a structural bracket arrangement to support the screen safely. For a new build project, this is considered at the design stage. We overcame this challenge by carefully surveying and planning each installation. 

Audio: By design, swimming halls are built in a certain way, making an excellent acoustic environment hard to achieve. The construction consists of hard reflective surfaces with large volumes, creating a loud environment with many echoes where the noise can reach extreme levels.

Delivering a high-performing audio solution in a swimming hall requires careful consideration of the acoustics. The audio systems need to perform well for vocal intelligibility and motivational music. Stage one is an acoustic assessment and advice on controlling the ambient noise level and the acoustic reverberation performance. The benchmark is an Upper limit for the indoor ambient noise level LAeq,30mins dB, and an RT60 reverberation time between 1.5 – 2.0 seconds.

In a few sentences, can you explain how you ensure that screens fit well into the overall design of the pool area, while maintaining their practical function?

Current LED Screen technologies come with low-profile mounting solutions that allow the screens to be prominent and impactful but not intrusive. Once the correct location is selected based on the range of applications the display will service, the installation is planned, considering trims, and finishing details to ensure the result is in keeping with the pool hall aesthetics.  

Screens have a clear visual impact, but how do you ensure audio systems are also given due consideration in the overall pool design without compromising their functionality?

Achieving high-quality intelligible audio in a swimming hall takes careful planning, design, control of the acoustic environmental factors and the correct loudspeaker selection for the main application and the speaker placement.  

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for swimming halls, and each project requires careful consideration and design. Selecting high-performance products that perform proficiently in the vocal frequency range for high intelligibility and deliver motivational music performance with depth and clarity for aqua aerobics and Gala events.

Can you provide an example of a project where both audio and visual solutions played a crucial role in transforming a pool area, emphasising the impact of each?

We have delivered many successful Aquatic Centres, Health Club, Spa swimming and Therapy pool projects. Our guiding principle is to consider the project brief, customer use case, ambient noise levels, acoustic reverberation performance, and acoustic control measures (and opportunities to add acoustic absorbent materials) – then, we design the professional Audio Solution considering the anticipated acoustic performance of the space. 

Swimming Centre Matinkylä, City of Espoo, Finland

Crucial Insights for Successful Screen Integration

To ensure that your screens perform optimally in a pool environment, here are some technical considerations to keep in mind:

Selecting IP-Rated Screens: Pool spaces pose challenges like humidity and water splashes. IP-rated screens, built to resist moisture, are a dependable choice for such environments.

Maintaining Safe Distances: To prevent damage and ensure safety, screens should be placed at a safe distance from the water’s edge. IP-rated displays need to be a minimum of 2 metres away, while non-IP-rated displays should be 3.5 metres away. An elevation of 2.5 metres above the water is also acceptable for either.

Addressing Glare: Glare from windows or open-air pools can affect screen visibility. Choosing a screen with the right brightness can help combat this issue. LED walls and outdoor screens, with brightness exceeding 2000 nits, ensure optimal visibility even under strong light.

In Summary

Integrating AV solutions, especially screens, into swimming pools opens up a world of possibilities to enrich the pool experience. They can revolutionise how we interact with pool spaces, enabling effective communication, enhancing safety, and ramping up engagement. However, for successful and lasting integration, thoughtful consideration around IP-rated screens, safe screen-to-water distances, and screen brightness is paramount.

It all starts with a conversation…

Do you have a pool facility in need of something a little bit extra for your members? 

To find out more about IP-rated AV solutions for your facility, get in touch with the Hutchison Technologies team today at: https://hutchi.tech/contact/

Thinking about offering a new aquafitness class? Contact Hydrohex today to find out more about the virtual platform and to book a demo at your pool at: https://hydrohex.com/contact/#contact

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