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Sports Equipment Technology

An Affordable Swim Coach as Near as Xmetrics

October 16, 2014


While few people are inherently opposed to the thought of more exercise, there's a lot of potential to actually be doing exercise wrong. Recently we heard about the Sensoria sock and ankle bracelet technology that provided training for new runners, and now, we're looking at a comparable development from Xmetrics, this time geared toward swimmers.

The Xmetrics device attaches to the back of a swimmer's goggles, and provides audio feedback on several facets of the swimming experience. There's total number of laps and the time taken to complete said laps, there's quick information about the quality of an executed kick turn, and several other critical points. It's specifically geared toward those who would like to be competitive swimmers, but can't afford a swim coach, which can cost quite a bit of cash for those who engage such professionals' help.

Xmetrics' founder, Andrea Rinaldo, was reportedly a former professional swimmer, and thus understands firsthand how the lack of a quality device is preventing many swimmers from getting in on the sport. Several devices that Rinaldo had tried proved to have several issues; some were simply too large, and created drag in the water and a difficult experience. Some were plain old uncomfortable to wear.  Still others were pleasant enough to wear, but too complex to put to use. But Xmetrics takes many of these problems and renders same obsolete, as once a training session is complete, Xmetrics can upload its data to a central app, and provide a complete view of not only that session's performance, but also of its place in a string of previous sessions, allowing said swimmer to chart progress toward goals quickly and easily.

Reports suggest that there will be other versions of the Xmetrics system to follow, each focused on a different sector of sport. For right now, though, it's focused on swimming, and even this isn't a bad idea. As the Sensoria socks made abundantly clear, there's a lot of specific points to consider when training in any particular sport, and having a wearable device on hand that understands these principles is likely a great step toward being better at that particular sport. While Xmetrics may not go as far as Sensoria does in terms of determining things like balance shifting and things like that, it could be that it's ready to handle at least the basics of form, and that can be a big help to someone just starting out. If the experience can be made better at the outset, and it can also improve the likelihood of the early practitioner of said sport noticing improvement, then it's also likely to help that player stick with the sport in the long term. Nothing's quite so hard as sticking to something that has no visible or even perceivable benefit, and with a system like Xmetrics, it may be able to show benefit where it wasn't previously visible.

Only time will tell if the Xmetrics system can really take off, or how far it will go overall, but the early word suggests that this is going to prove a powerful system that handles its role with aplomb. It may even help more people get interested in exercise, and that's a development we could all stand to see.

Edited by Maurice Nagle