Iowa pool enhances competition swimming with live video

By Brian Bell February 26, 2014


Commercial pool management that deals with competition swimming knows the potential difficulties of hosting a large number of spectators. Everyone wants the best views of the pool, which can cause congestion.

The Community Y, a commercial pool in Marshalltown, Iowa has found a solution to this problem by installing a projection system that includes a 22-foot video screen and the ability to stream live video of the pool. This enables virtually all audience members to watch their favorite swimmers compete without having to arrive hours ahead of time to grab the best seats, according to Aquatics International.

Taking advantage of possibilities
The Community Y worked with Fake Space, a visualization technology company to incorporate the new features into the facility. Funding for the project came from donations from the Y’s Swim Team Parents group and local companies.

The Y recognized that there were many potential applications for the technology, including advertising. According to Aquatics International, these efforts allowed the pool to raise $1,500 in one event.

With such a large screen, the Y plans to host pool movie nights. These events are great for families with children who are too young to swim, but want to enjoy the water. It’s also an opportunity for the community to come together.

Exploring new applications
The facility has thought of other benefits of the system, including underwater recording that can be broadcasted onto the screen. There’s already a synchronized swimming program that plans to experiment with these features. This approach may be able to provide better training in swim lessons, and can allow instructors to better exhibit proper techniques.

Additionally, the Y is considering setting up a system that will allow the video to be streamed to the Internet. This means that friends and family members of competitive swimmers can watch the event unfold, regardless of their location.

Implementing technology into pools
Technological advancements are being made in every industry, and there are some that can be explored in swimming facilities. Iowa’s Community Y pool is one venue that has had the opportunity to incorporate such technology. A pool is a highly customizable site, and deciding which fixtures to invest in can be a difficult decision. Monitoring pool news and learning about potential projects can better familiarize pool directors and managers with less traditional pool projects that can be explored.