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Augmented Reality Goggles to Monitor Swimmers’ Heart Rate

Heart rate monitors and fitness trackers are common technologies today. People engaged in sports and exercise can simply wear these devices while they play or work out to understand how their body reacts to the activity. However, a Canadian company is looking to adapt fitness tracking into augmented reality.

Canadian company Form partnered with Finnish-based corporation Polar to build a pair of AR goggles for swimmers. This goggle will display the heart rate data and the calorie burned data for the swimmers, while they engage in the activity. Form is known for their tech-assisted goggle products, while Polar mainly focuses on sports-based technologies, such as heart rate monitors. The partners plan to launch the brand new AR goggles in the market in November this year.

Form’s swim goggles are pretty light. Image credit: Form

To use the fitness tracking feature of the goggles though, users will need to purchase both the specialised AR goggles from Form and the heart rate monitoring equipment from Polar.

Besides displaying the heart rate on the goggles, this technology will also monitor the user’s stroke rate, stroke count and pace. Counting the calories burned during swimming will be possible as well. After the swim, users can review the data and understand the metrics through the Form companion app on their phones.

Image credit: Form

Dan Eisenhardt, the CEO and founder of Form claims that both companies started collaborating on the project since 2018 to bring this AR feature to fitness monitoring. According to Eisenhardt, the technology underwent extensive testing in real-world conditions. Swimmers of various levels, including professional competitors, used the goggles to record their physical data. He feels that the reliability that Polar’s heart rate monitoring tech is known for will increase the value of the AR goggles in question.

Other than allowing serious swimmers or fitness enthusiasts the ability to make better choices, the special tech is expected to improve coaching techniques and efficacy for swimming trainers. Coaches can determine where they need to focus when it comes to a particular swimmer by carefully studying the data recorded by the technology.

Technology’s impact on sports and fitness in recent years

Augmented reality, virtual reality and other forms of technology are quickly gaining traction across various fields, including entertainment, health, education and even sports. Athletes are turning to unconventional forms of training using AR or VR to avoid physical injuries before an important match or tournament. For instance, during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, many athletes were spotted training on VR and donning smart suits. More of the same approach is expected in the 2020 Summer Olympics as well.

While virtual reality and augmented reality are not particularly new forms of technology, it is only now that the world is recognising the potential of mixed reality simulations. Owing to this popularity, smartphone companies are incorporating augmented reality features in their devices as well.

Come November, when Form’s and Polar’s collaborative project hits the market, swimmers can check it out. With the relay of real-time data, it should be easier and more convenient for athletes to achieve their goals.

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