Sunday, September 22, 2019
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FORM and Polar Bring Augmented Reality to the Pool

FORM’s AR goggles have been out for only a month but they already have a new trick up their sleeve.

 

Sports might not come to mind first when you think of augmented reality. However, AR would be great for improving your game. Though right now, most AR technology requires you to hold a phone or put up with wires.

Most, but not all. Ever heard of augmented reality swimming goggles?

Who Are FORM?

FORMform AR goggles’s AR swim goggles have been available since this August.

“When we started developing the FORM Swim Goggles four years ago, we knew that giving swimmers real-time metrics was only half the battle. Fit and durability were just as important,” FORM founder and CEO, Dan Eisenhardt, said in a release announcing FORM going to market this summer. “The extensive testing we’ve done over the past year shows we exceeded our original goals.”

Models already on the market are capable of displaying metrics including distance, pace, and estimated calories burned. The data doesn’t just show up on the AR display and then disappear, however. The goggles work with an app on a mobile device. That way, users can continue to learn from their data when they leave the pool.

For all that they could do, FORM’s goggles weren’t able to display heart rate.

That’s where Polar comes in.

Who Are Polar?

Polar hasn’t been particularly involved in AR technology in the past. Their OH1 and OH1+ heartrate sensors are worn on the arm. The durable and waterproof sensors transfer heart rate data to mobile devices. These can be connected in different wats and multiple devices can be connected simultaneously.

The waterproof, wireless heart rate monitor seemed like the perfect fit for FORM’s goggles.

What Do You Get When You Put them Together?

The partnership between Polar and FORM gives the app access to information on one of your body’s most important metrics. Finally, swimmers can now see their heart rate while they’re swimming.

FORM + OH1 AR goggles

No more taking a pulse at the end of your set. No more swimming blind and checking your phone when you get out of the pool.

FORM goggles retail for $199. Starting this November, the AR swim goggles will start supporting the Polar OH1 and OH1+ through a free software update.

“Completed swims will sync to the FORM Swim App for iPhone® and Android™, which will match up heart rate data to metrics like split times, stroke rate, stroke count, pace per 100, and calories in a single, easy-to-navigate view. Armed with these tools, swimmers and coaches will gain greater insight into each swim, and they’ll be able to design future swim workouts with greater precision than ever before,” the company explained.

phone and tablet HR view AR swim goggles FORM and Polar

An Industry First?

FORM’s AR technology is revolutionary but the idea isn’t new. In our article on AR in sports, we mentioned SwimAR. SwimAR isn’t a goggle exactly. Rather it’s a heads-up display adapter that mounts to regular goggles. However, SwimAR can’t read heart rate. We’d still like to see SwimAR hit the shelves but as of this writing, it’s still in development.

See Also:  AR in Sports: Augmented Reality Apps that Bring Fans into the Game

Augmented reality is a huge field. Brands are constantly claiming to have the first this or the industry-best that. It can be hard to know if they’re right. We might have missed something but FORM could really be the first AR swim goggles. The fact that they will be able to display heart rate before the end of the year is just the cherry on top.

Jon Jaehnig
the authorJon Jaehnig
Jon Jaehnig is a freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has a degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat.