By Becca Caddy
If you’re into running there are all kinds of different apps, like the Nike Plus iPhone app, and gadgets like Garmin’s GPS Forerunner watches which are designed to keep track of your run. They tell you your pace, how far you ran, where you ran and let you know how long it’s going to take to reach your goals. Many of the apps also let you share this information with other people via social media – Twitter and Facebook.
However, if you’re much more of a water baby there isn’t as much choice. Sure you can invest in a £99 Speedo Aquacoach swimming watch which will automatically count your lengths and work out calories burned etc and number of strokes per length. But sharing this information with fellow swimmers via Twitter and Facebook hasn’t been possible. Until now.
A new system called Swimtag aims to change this. It acts as your own personal swimming coach, whether you go swimming once in a blue moon or you’re an advanced swimmer who’s at the pool everyday. To use the system, the pool has to be in on the technology too, which is why you may not have heard about Swimtag up until now (there are currently only a few pools which have installed the technology. Check Swimtag’s Twitter feed for the latest updates.)
So how does it work? Basically you swipe your Swimtag card before entering a participating pool and you then receive a wristband. When you wear the wristband in the pool you can then monitor all kinds of things, such as the number of laps you complete and the stroke you use. As soon as you’ve finished swimming all of that important data is then uploaded to your account, which you can view online, via mobile, or even at a special kiosk run by the pool.
There are all kinds of similarities with running apps and services like Nike+ and Runkeeper, because you can select special training plans, add friends from social networks, share your swims and even set challenges too. There’s also integration with online charity platform JustGiving as well, so you can raise money for your swims and prove that you’ve done them afterwards.
The Swimtag system is designed to be as simple and easy-to-use as possible, so it makes sense that it shares a lot of similarities with Nike’s increasingly popular running app, Nike+. The fact you give your wristband in at the end of the swim means users have nothing to worry about, they just carry their cards in their wallets and all other kinds of information are accessible online. We imagine it’ll be a successful system for swimmers of all levels, but particularly for swimming clubs where there is a need to monitor the individual performances of swimmers quite closely.
The only thing that we think may stop Swimtag from becoming a big success is its availability. There’s no official word on the Swimtag website about locations just yet, but apparently 661 swimmers are currently using it and if you want to find out more about availability you can get in touch with one of the Swimtag team.
Article via Connected Health