There’s a great announcement today from FORM swim goggles.
In a nutshell: FORM have paired up with Polar so that Polar’s OH1 beams live swimming heart rate directly into the heads-up-display in the Form Goggles.
That’s pretty much it but, personally, I think it’s a great announcement for about a squillion reasons. Bear in mind I haven’t tried this combo yet as the beta firmware update is not out for a few more weeks but here’s why I am kicking out my normal grumpy self and getting excited about a triathlon ‘first’:
- It’s a first! As far as I know, there is no other way to get accurate HR beamed straight into your goggles as you swim. INSTABEAT, do a similar thing but only display HR zones…which is cool too.
- Whilst ANT+ and BLE do not officially travel through the water I think I was maybe (?) the first person to write about the wrist-based oHR devices being able to send data over a few CMs to a Garmin device underwater and that’s how the FORM+Polar link works. Polar has already announced a goggles clip to enable your heart rate to be read from your temple. Actually, that sometimes causes problems with your swim cap, so FORM are supplying their own clip for the OH1.
- The Polar OH1/OH1+ is accurate. I use it as a device for my tests to ensure a near-perfect, arm-based oHR recording, usually whilst running. It’s great that it caches the data as well as broadcasting it.
- I’ve also used the OH1 for cached data whilst attached to a swim CAP (yes) and the data is good.
- I’ve already used the FORM Goggles in a pool-based triathlon. It was actually nice to get the length times so that I slowed down a bit at the start. You can probably instead use a time-based alert on your wristwatch but a HUD genuinely works well for the display of live swim data. For that particular pool tri, I did not have the oHR data showing…that would be even better.
- I’ve also used FORM for OWS but that was really just to give me split times at buoys #BetterThanNothing. But now I will be able to see HR for OWS…#Cool
- The FORM goggles are OK in group swim lessons as well. The lanes perhaps do get a bit crowded from time-to-tie, perhaps messing up some of the length-time stats but live HR stats will be a great addition in some circumstances.
- Whilst I like the FORM goggles, the data they display is effectively mostly only length-based. If I’m understanding FORM correctly, there will be LIVE HR data throughout each length.
- FORM will integrate the HR data into their app however I’m not so sure that will be of much benefit for the triathlete swimmer? Maybe it would for you but I would probably still wear my tri watch as a recording/logging device and use the data from that in my records elsewhere ie I’d just use FORM+OH1 for live-pacing the efforts and I’d never use the FORM app.
Well. I thought it was exciting.
Here is the FORM Goggles review and I’ll write something once I’ve used FORM with the OH1 later this month.
Here is an excerpt from the Press Release
The FORM Swim Goggles are a pair of premium swim goggles with a see-through, augmented-reality display that delivers performance metrics in real time. The Polar OH1 and OH1+ are optical heart rate monitors that combine versatility, comfort, and simplicity. In November 2019, the FORM Swim Goggles will support the Polar OH1 and OH1+ through a free software update from FORM.
By using the FORM Swim Goggles in conjunction with either the Polar OH1 or OH1+, swimmers will have the unprecedented ability to view their heart rate in their line of sight throughout their swim, enabling them to precisely measure their effort in the moment—something that was previously impossible in the sport of swimming. 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.
“FORM has worked closely with Polar since 2018 to enable this functionality,” said Dan Eisenhardt, founder and CEO of FORM. “We’ve done extensive testing in the pool with swimmers of all levels, including elite competitive swimmers, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Polar heart rate monitor tech is trusted by athletes around the world; by adding it to the arsenal of metrics that our goggles already deliver, we’ll empower serious swimmers to make their training even smarter and more purposeful. We’ll also further empower coaches and enhance the coach-swimmer dynamic.”
The Polar OH1/OH1+ will attach to the FORM Swim Goggles strap, where it will sit snugly against the swimmer’s temple, monitoring heart rate using its 6 LED optical sensor and proprietary heart rate algorithm. Real-time heart rate data will be transmitted wirelessly from the OH1/OH1+ to the FORM Swim Goggles, enabling the swimmer to see their heart rate in their line of sight, while they swim. Once the swim is complete, syncing the goggles with the FORM Swim App for iPhone™ and Android® will allow the swimmer and their coach to review detailed workout stats, including heart rate.