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Gear Reviews Triathlon

FORM Swim Goggles – Pipeline Post

Form Swim Goggles looks to your access to swimming metrics via a smart display in the goggles. Certainly interesting 

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FORM Swim Goggles – Pipeline Post

I’m going to try something new today. There are always lot’s of interesting things going on in the cycling and tech world. Not all of them are finished products, not all are things that you can review, and not all of them are the subject of things where a whole in depth post could be generated. As a result, I’m going to trial a section titled “Pipeline Post’ – ostensibly things which I have found interesting in the inter webs. Each Pipeline post will be limited to a max of 500 words, and I’ll aim to put something out at least bi-weekly to start with. The sort of things which I can put together when on trains, in departure lounges and when waiting for meetings to start

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One which note – FORM Swim Goggles have been shown off to the world yesterday.

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I really enjoy swimming. I run and cycle for the fitness and sports aspects, but I enjoy swimming not necessarily as a sport, but as a recreation. I find it just engaging enough so that it doesn’t become a grind as when in the rowing machine, but also relaxing enough that I find it a big stress relief. Perhaps as a direct result of this, it is my weakest part of the triathlon

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As a result of this I’ve recently been trying to improve the swim section, whilst also reviewing the Suunto 5 watch. But a small irritation is that the feedback from the watch is not as strong as possible when in the water, with regard to distance alarms.

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So whilst turning round, I’ve tried to get an idea of how far I’ve splashed without slowing greatly, but seeing the screen on the Suunto 5, or on any of the watches is not the easiest. Whilst the Polar Vantage V and the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus are much better at giving alerts in the water… I’m not sure how much I trust their distance measurements, and would prefer to take the lowest number for training

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Which is why the FORM Swim has interested me so much The will the digital screen mean I can easily see what the distance I’ve swum is, meaning that I can focus purely on my race or my training – or so I thought

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Now there may be some readers who remember that I’ve previously not been a great fan or glasses mounted devices. I particularly was not a fan of the Garmin Varia Vision, surly this is just. Similar device for the pool, so why the interested now? Well on the bike I’m going rather quickly, and I have very personal experience of crashing and breaking myself as a result having something strapped to my glasses, getting in the way of my vision on the road didn’t really work for me

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The same was true for the Recon Jet glasses which also helped block a nice portion of the cyclist and runners view

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In which case why am I more interested to see the FORM Swim in action? Well firstly team who have brought the FORM Swim to market are survivors of the now defunct Recon Jet. So I’m hoping that with the advances in technology, some of the limitations of the design will have been over come. But more importantly, I think there is a significantly reduce chance of my breaking myself during an open water swim, and especially during a pool swim. As a result, having a screen obstructing part of my vision in the water isn’t really going to be a problem. Particularly so as I rarely wear contact lenses in the water unless racing.

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There are a few limitations on the the FORM Swim which I am surprised about. The lack of GPS being one of them, and a major disappointment for me. One of the difficulties for GPS watches when it comes to open water swimming, is simple communication with the satellite – water attenuates the signal VERY quickly. Thus I would have assumed the pod in the side of the glasses would be a perfect place to put a GPS chip given that your head will likely be in less water compared to your wrists.

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There is a BlueTooth chip, but you are also going to have communication issues if you tried to grab distance markers from your sports watch, as Bluetooth has about a 5-30cm signal distance in water. Meaning that the FORM Swim is pretty much a pool only device at the moment. I have reached out to Form to see if there is a open water version in the pipline, only then we’ll have to wait and see if there is any extra room in that pod on the goggles

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From a clarity perspective, the screen itself looks to, provide a right balance between information and maintaining vision. Again there is the Bluetooth communication distance issue, however it would be very interesting to see if were possible to connect a Polar OH1+ with their new swim attachment and also get your heart rate displayed

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The real question for the FORM Swim will be related to price. $200 is quite an asking price, when my normal Decathlon goggles costs £10. If there was a GPS unit inside, I think that price would be a lot easier to swallow.

FORM Swim – Pipeline Summary

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The FORM Swim has an interesting product on their hands, and I’m excited to see how the product performs in real life. If you are a keen swimmer, and know that you will want a pair, orders are due to go live August 7th

What do you think, both of the FORM Swim, and the short form “Pipeline” post idea? Any comments , stick them below

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James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. Feel free to drop me a line about sports tech, medicine, or frankly anything that you want to chat about!!