Innovation & Swimming – be Navigated

IOLITE, a GPS based tracking device, gets it name from legendary Sunstones used by the Vikings for navigation. Rightfully so!

This is not the first time (or the last) you are hearing this – one of the challenges of open water swimming is to stay on course. A triathlete swimmer would appreciate anything that would take away the stress of staying on course and rather focus their energy on swimming.

IOLITE does just more than taking care of sighting and assists the swimmer with navigating along a straight line. It also comes with added features to help maintain a planned pace and assists in keeping stroke cadence. IOLITE also collects all the data from start to finish for later analysis.

IOLITE primarily comes as two components, GPS tracking unit and LED Display unit, housed in leak-proof casings and connected by a flexible and water-resistant cable. The LED Display is attached to lens of swimming goggle and the tracking device either can be attached to the goggle strap at the back or tucked under the skullcap. The tracking device provides real time feed to the LED Display so the swimmer can respond accordingly.

IOLITE primarily comes as two components, GPS tracking unit and LED Display unit, housed in leak-proof casing and connected by a flexible and water-resistant cable. The LED Display is attached to lens of swimming goggle and the tracking device either can be attached to the goggle strap at the back or tucked under the skullcap. The tracking device provides real time feed to the LED Display so the swimmer can respond accordingly.

iolite-GPS Unit

iolite-swimmer(Photo Source – swimiolite.com)

How does it work? The navigation path can be pre-plotted using the software (that comes with the product) OR allow the GPS to determine ‘line of swimming’ within few feet of swimming. It is also relatively easy to reset the direction mid-course. Any deviation from the path is indicated by a set of LED lights on the display.

Even though IOLITE is a great innovation, to me, it looked like a range of devices packaged into one. Sometimes additional features can be a distraction and if that is the case, the users will turn off those features. The product should not lose its primary purpose – keep the swimmer on course. Do we really need a device to help triathlete swimmers to maintain rhythm of their strokes?

As I had indicated in another article, discussions will continue around fairness of using such devices in competitive swimming. In parallel, innovation should continue to bring better products to keep the swimmers safe and contribute towards better performance.

-Meghna Sil

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s