Water resistance is slowly becoming a standard feature of fitness trackers and smartwatches these days. While many of these gadgets monitor swimming, they all have one thing in common – they are designed for your wrist. While this might be fine for running, golf or tennis, it is not the ideal location if you want to track your swim session in real-time.
Ovao, a Lithuanian technology startup, wants to solve this problem by giving swimmers a much less intrusive way of receiving instant feedback. So they came up with the novel idea of making swim goggles smart.
The Ovao smart goggle attachment can be secured to pretty much any old pair of goggles. It flashes colour coded feedback in real-time to let you know which heart rate zone you are currently in.
Essential reading: Head off to the pool with one of these gadgets
Before jumping into the pool you choose a training program in the accompanying smartphone app. This can be anything from fat burning to endurance training. While swimming, multi-color LEDs display your current workout intensity and provide real-time coaching to make sure you’re on target to meet your goal.
Every workout starts from a warm up zone as indicated by a blue colour. This is the equivalent of a heart zone 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate. After 5 to 10 minutes the LEDs will blink, indicating that its time to ramp up your speed. The lights will change colour once you hit the next heart rate zone.
“We were looking for the least intrusive ways of providing feedback to swimmers,” Ovao CEO Aldas Juronis told e52.
“You just have to remember five colors which indicate your heart rate zone. And when you are able to track your heart rate zones while training you can achieve better results within less time.”
Just like any self-respecting swim tracker, the device keeps tabs on other parameters as well. This includes stroke rate, lap time, lap count and pace. A workout history and further analysis of each of these metrics is available in the app.
You can’t buy the product just yet as its still work in progress. The Team admits that both the hardware and software need more polishing, and are planning to turn to Kickstarter in May to raise funds to finalise the product.
While you are waiting, you might want to check out the Ovao smart goggle attachment promotional video.