For swimmers and triathletes in training or racing, keeping a tab on laps is tedious, but also it can be easy to lose track at times, especially as you tire. Plus there are frankly better things to think about while you’re working out in the pool. British company Swimovate has come up with a swimming computer, worn like a wristwatch, which takes the mental work out of keeping a lap count. But being a smart bit of tech, the Pool-Mate does a heap more besides.

It also calculates average strokes per lap, speed, distance, calories and efficiency – without you needing to stop to press a button, turn a dial, flick a switch, raise a sweat.

The Pool-Mate works using advance motion-sensor technology. In particular, a combination of motion sensors, software algorithms and digital signal processing detect the arms moving through the water and analyzes the data, giving read-outs for speed, distance and calories.

“Athletes are now used to speed and distance computers for other sports, such as running and cycling, but what about swimming?” says Lisa Irlam, Swimovate’s CEO. “We wanted an affordable, smart and fully automatic solution.”

The computer will work for the four major strokes – freestyle, breaststroke backstroke and butterfly – tumble-turns and straight out of the box – no individual calibration needed.

In addition to session information, the Pool-Mate can also record individual sets within a session and time rest periods, so you can monitor your stroke and efficiency across an entire workout.

Data is logged by the computer, which can store up to 400 separate files, so you can compare one session against another. Trialed by a mix of swimmers over 18 months and hundreds of kilometres, Swimovate found the Pool-Mate had an accuracy rate of more than 99.7 percent.

The Pool-Mate’s time (99 lap chrono) feature can also be used out of the pool for running and cycling – perfect for triathletes.

The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters, back-lit and has 12 and 24-hour clock modes, battery level indicator and alarm. One thing to keep in mind, though: pools need to be longer than 10 meters for the computer to have enough data to work with.

Swimovate is run by swimmers and triathletes developing innovative, affordable electronic sports training products. The Pool-Mate, which is available to buy online, costs £69.99 (USD$114), plus postage. It will be launched late next month.

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