In recent years, we've seen electronically-augmented goggles that allow swimmers to monitor their heart rate, and to stay on course when swimming outdoors. Well, Zwim goggles are claimed to go quite a bit farther. They feature an actual Google Glass-like head-up display (HUD), that tracks the same sort of data as a swimmer's sports watch.
Conceived by triathlete Taegoo Kang, Zwim's display unit incorporates a six-axis accelerometer, along with an optical sensor that measures the wearer's pulse via the skin on their temple. These and other electronics allow it to keep track of things such as lap time, lap count, total elapsed time, heart rate and calories burned.
Data is displayed on a small screen that appears on the right-hand side of the wearer's vision. By tapping a button, they can switch between different data sets on that screen, plus they can can choose how much data is displayed – the screen can be divided from one to four sections, each one displaying a different stat.
When the user gets out of the pool, they can sync Zwim with an app on their smartphone, allowing them to save and share all of their data.
One charge of the lithium-ion battery should be good for about four hours of use. Additionally, the actual goggle lenses themselves detach from the display unit, and can be replaced separately when they wear out.
So, if swim watches exist already, why bother? Well, the big selling feature of Zwim is that it allows users to keep track of everything without having to stop swimming – they just glance into their peripheral vision. Additionally, it's claimed to be better at detecting the changes in direction which indicate that one lap has ended and another has begun.
Kang and his team have turned to Indiegogo to fund production of Zwim goggles, where a pledge of US$199 will currently get you a set. The planned retail price is $395, with replacement lenses going for about $15.
There's more information in the video below.
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