There was a time not too long ago when a car breaking down would be a cause for significant concern. How far back was that last store or gas station? Where might the nearest payphone be? While a car breaking down today would not be any more fun, most of us have the luxury to immediately call for help.
As we entered the new millennium, the Internet became an integral part of our homes. Within a few years, we began to carry cell phones. A decade in, the Internet became mobile while our cell phones became “smart.” Now in 2020, our ear buds, televisions, light switches, and thermostats are connected to the Internet, giving us more conveniences all from the control of our phones.
Before most of us had any idea of what a “wearable” was or that smart-connected devices were on the way, John Kochan Jr., president of Metropolitan Industries and an avid tech enthusiast, was imagining how the new technological concept might be applicable to the family business. As Metropolitan Industries was going all in towards cloud SCADA to provide municipalities with cloud-based remote monitoring and control of its water and wastewater operations, Kochan was pondering the next “big thing” for the company’s residential division, Ion Technologies.
Coming off the 2010 launch of the Ion Digital Level Control Switch, an electronic controller that eliminated the reliance of mechanical float switches for the Ion Technologies line of residential sump and sewage pumps, Kochan was confident that the company’s line-up of high capacity battery backup systems equipped with the state-of-the-art digital level controller was of championship caliber. But was it enough to provide end users with total peace of mind?
“While a backup sump pump system in theory is rather simple, the setup and various components may seem more complex to the average homeowner,” said Kochan. “While our customers were more than satisfied with the performance of our backup systems, we recognized that there was still some trepidation each time an extended rainfall occurred.
“We want our customers to enjoy full peace of mind, enough so that they don’t feel the need to make frequent trips down to their basement each time it rains to check that their pump is working.”
As Kochan thought how to solve this pain point, he recognized that general peace of mind often requires added reassurance. Before too long, the idea came to him. Why not a “smart alarm and controller” for the sump pit and sump pump?
The result was the 2016 launch of the first-generation Ion+ Connect, a cellular sump alarm with real-time monitoring and control accessibility via one’s personal cell phone. Utilizing 3G cellular, the Ion+ Connect sent real-time status updates and critical alerts to a homeowner via SMS text messaging while empowering homeowners to remotely test run their pump by sending commands back via text.
With additional sump pit water level measuring, sump pump status updates, basement temperature readings, and the ability to detect power loss, homeowners were only a text message away from knowing what was happening inside their sump pit. It did not matter where or how long one was away from home. Homeowners could either rest easy knowing everything was okay or be in the position to act as soon as a problem scenario surfaced.
Today, as cellular carriers transition away from 3G, the need arose to develop a second-generation Ion+ Connect that relied on the technology of today. With this need came the opportunity to rebuild the Ion+ Connect from the ground up, expanding its hardware capabilities while also developing an entirely new software experience.
The new Ion+ Connect provides homeowners with a truly dynamic multi-communication ecosystem to further instill total peace of mind when it comes to protecting the basement against the threat of flooding.
While equipped with the same monitoring and command capabilities as the original device, the new Ion+ Connect is supported by its dedicated app and website, providing a user-friendly portal environment that brings full accessibility via one’s preferred Internet-enabled device. From cell phones and tablets to laptops and desktops, whether on the go or situated at the desk, homeowners are only a few clicks away from knowing what is happening within their basement and sump pit.
From there, homeowners can remotely test run their pump anytime regardless of where they are, especially helpful for prolong periods of no rain where the pump may otherwise have been inactive. This provides homeowners with the assurance that the pump is operable. The remote run capability of the pump is especially useful in summer homes or rental properties that may be vacant for extended periods of times.
The new Ion+ Connect’s app supports multiple users, bringing the Ion+ Connects accessibility to multiple people within a household. With updates and critical alerts available via push notifications, phone call, or email, customers will never miss an important update.
The new Ion+ Connect is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, providing the same real-time updates along with voice commands via the popular smart speaker.
From a hardware perspective, the new Ion+ Connect’s two outlets support the running of two pumps, providing true duplex pumping operation.
The new Ion+ Connect will be available in select contractor supply stores this fall. The initial release will feature our 4G unit, while additional WiFi and Bluetooth models will follow in 2021.
With the new Ion+ Connect, homeowners are always an alert or a few clicks away from knowing what is happening in their sump pit. Whether enjoying some downtime while upstairs, stuck at work, or away on vacation, there is less reason to worry about the basement each time it rains.
With such empowerment comes the added reassurance to provide that total peace of mind. Imagine the next trip down to the basement, free of dread of what unwelcome surprise may be awaiting at the bottom of the steps.
The New Ion+ Connect, Coming This Fall
Learn more about the new Ion+ Connect features, and be the first to know when its release date is announced in addition to how to purchase.