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FORM Swim Goggles – adds GPS distance & pace

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FORM Swim Goggles – GPS distance & pace for OWS

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FORM Swim Goggles have just got a whole lot more capable and a bit more complex in the process.

In a nutshell, this is a FREE update to existing FORM Goggles that allows you to view LIVE pace, LIVE distance and LIVE HR in  your goggles, coming from a paired Garmin or Apple watch and it really would look something very similar to this

 

Why?

FORM added HR compatibility to their goggles a few months ago via a Polar OH1 attached to FORM’s strap. The OH1 was a little bit fiddly to get in just the right place but once you’d sorted out that, the HR data that was displayed was ACCURATE and nicely complemented the other swim stats when in the pool. That setup also worked in OWS in the sense that you still got great HR readings displayed and you could moderate your efforts accordingly. However, when in OWS, there were none of the distance-related metrics like those in the pool which were triggered by accelerometers each time you turned at the end of a length of the pool. Clearly there are no such turns in OWS.

Thus for OWS distance and pace, FORM needs GPS. As far as I know, the FORM goggles have no inbuilt GPS chip, which is a shame as it might be able to have a half-decent crack at the pace/distance conundrum when swimming. But it can’t…so let’s move on.

Roll on Garmin and Apple

Compatibility: Garmin Forerunner 945, Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 6 Pro

& Apple Watch 5/4/3

First up, it’s interesting that I’m even mentioning Apple here. This must be a first for a ‘proper’ sports watch announcement ie it’s not just a Garmin announcement, it’s not Garmin and Polar announcement, it’s not a Suunto announcement. It’s Garmin AND APPLE at the same time for the FIRST announcement of a new, first-of-its-kind feature. In itself, I reckon this starts to signal many things for the futures of sports tech. It’s simply the case that the best-ever selling wearable is the Apple Watch and it’s simply also the case that a lot of its owners do sport with it…including swimming. Do the math, I’m sure FORM did.

Other 3rd party accessory companies will eventually all come to terms with the sporting reality of Apple dominance sooner or later.

During swimming, FORM gets the GPS and HR data from the sensors on whichever supported wristwatch you use (Garmin ones use BLE in CIQ). Apart from that, the FORM goggles work much as before, except now they can display more metrics namely GPS Distance and then derive related metrics like pace per 100m. Naturally, the older metrics like HR, calories and stroke rate are still available. This is all live data beamed into your goggles. #Cool.

At the end of your OWS workout, the FORM goggles send the HR and GPS that they recorded back to the FORM iOS/Android app and, of course, you have the same data recorded on your Garmin as before.

Sorted?

Is there a problem?

There might be several problems with all of this.

*EXAMPLE* of the variability of GPS tracks in OWS. The red line it ‘fairly’ accurate and the Garmins discussed here would be like that

Whilst I’ve used the FORM goggles in the pool ‘quite a lot’, like most of you I haven’t swum in lockdown for several weeks, so I’ve not used this new feature at all. Let’s start off being positive. Here are some great use-cases with some simply awesomely positive points.

Now let’s moan a bit

As I say, I haven’t tested it. That’s all pure speculation and I could be 100% wrong and it could be brilliantly perfect data (I’m not, it won’t be). But it COULD be actionable. IDK.

Summary

A most-awesome technical innovation for triathlon and swimming. It will almost certainly win a triathlete.com award and many more besides. Deservedly so. Innovation is great especially when it tackling a difficult problem like live OWS distance/pace.

The devil will be in the detail of the accuracy of GPS+oHR from the wrist. I don’t like devils 🙁

I will test this…maybe next year…maybe the year after when the Covid crisis blows over. Sigh. Seriously though, in the UK lakes are allowed to open NOW they just aren’t doing so on H&S grounds. So I’m hoping it will be soon.

back to main FORM Swim Goggles Review

FORM Swim Goggles Discount, Price & Availability

They are available at Amazon worldwide. NOTE: you will get a $20 discount on Amazon sites if you check the little box underneath the $199/ price to get $179 (try in EU sites as well) and then use the code SWIM20.

Get it here: FORM Goggles at Amazon

 


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