Sonr tech lets coaches talk to swimmers by radio
Swim coaches have a difficult job, as they have to shout in order for swimmers to hear them – and even then, they still may not be heard. The Sonr system is designed to address that problem, using one-way radio communications.
Invented by swimmer and entrepreneur Dmitri Voloshin, Sonr is manufactured by Moldovan company Simpals.
The system consists of two parts – a walkie-talkie held by the coach, and a waterproof bone conduction speaker/receiver worn by the swimmer. The latter device is slightly buoyant – so it will float if it comes off – and can be worn either under a swimming cap or clipped to the wearer's goggles strap.
In order to provide the swimmer with feedback or instructions, the coach simply speaks into the walkie talkie, with their voice being transmitted to the athlete's receiver in real time. The system has a lateral range of 300 meters (984 ft), plus its signal can travel up to 1 m (3.3 ft) underwater.
Additionally, by selecting different frequencies, one coach can speak to as many as 30 swimmers at once. That said, they can still select any one of those people – or small sub-groups of them – and talk to them individually. The system can also be set to act as a metronome, providing audio signals that help swimmers time the pace of their strokes.
Sonr is available now for preorder, with package prices starting at US$149 for a kit consisting of one transmitter and one receiver. It should ship as of July 21st.