What's next? Self propelling suits?

NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
edited April 2014 in General Discussion
source: IOLITE is a square GPS unit-about the size of a watch face-that fits easily under a swim cap. A small display affixes to the swimmer's goggles and uses green, yellow and red LED lights to keep them on course. In addition to tracking direction, IOLITE also assists swimmers with information on distance, speed and cadence.
Will the triathlon world allow this device during a race? I hope not. This kind of technology should be banned.
And the excuse that one can utilise it during practise stinks because than one can't develop any navigational skills that's needed during a race.

http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

Comments

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    How about butt plug propellers?!
    I hear they're coming to market!
  • Google Goggles?
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    Niek said:

    Will the triathlon world allow this device during a race? I hope not. This kind of technology should be banned.

    Niek, While I completely agree with you, triathlon is big business and a sponsor driven sport so I wouldn't count on it.
  • ColmBreathnachColmBreathnach Charter Member
    As a general question, has anyone tried any device with a goggle display? How well does it work? Can you actually read anything up that close or is it a simple led interface?
  • RaymondRogersRaymondRogers New Member
    edited May 2014
    Niek said:

    Will the triathlon world allow this device during a race? I hope not. This kind of technology should be banned.
    And the excuse that one can utilise it during practise stinks because than one can't develop any navigational skills that's needed during a race.

    It's great to hear some discussion on the product and some initial impressions.

    There is no reason that IOLITE would be prohibited during a triathlon race. In the sport of triathlon, many products are developed to help improve performance. The larger majority of triathletes already use products such as wet suits, GPS watches, heart rate monitors, aero products (bars, wheels, helmets, etc), bike power meters, and many more. ALL of these products offer an individual an advantage when using them. But none of these products, including IOLITE, offer any type of forward propulsion assistance. IOLITE provides the same positional advantage to swimming, that aerobars do for biking. The benefit is keeping your head down, staying streamlined in the water, keeping relaxed, and mantaining an efficient stroke. Focus on forward motion, not vertical motion for sighting.

    IOLITE also provides benefits that everyone already enjoys while biking and running, with regards to pacing using their GPS watches. Now you can set a pacing strategy before your swims and actually be able to stick to that plan using IOLITE's pace and cadence indicators.

    For more information, check out our kickstarter campaign at: http://kck.st/1iwo6wX

    Raymond Rogers Co-Founder IOLITE http://SwimIOLITE.com

  • I'll keep my money and lock on to the feet of some other schlub who's wearing his IOLITE. At least I can feel confident that he's pulling me in the right direction.
  • edited May 2014
    RaymondRogers,

    Good luck with your product. It doesn't seem to me that this is your most fertile market. But then, I'm a guy who would prefer it if your device could just count laps for me. I use the line on the bottom of the pool for directional guidance.

    What you see as an advantage (the cadence) is specifically prohibited by the bylaws. Meanwhile, if it weren't then cadence would be much better dictated by an "earbud" type of device (which BTW, I'm working on) anyway. I'd much rather hear music and a click click click to tell me what my stroke speed needs to be.

    Not to speak for others, but. The ethos is "the purity of the sport." That a person needs practically nothing but water to compete. Something to keep the private pieces private, something to keep your eyeballs from falling out and maybe a hat. But if I'm racing you, and I didn't train myself to swim mostly straight, and you did, then you should win, because you're better at it than I (meaning I get no extra points for having swum further than the straight line). But if you swim straighter than I because your equipment assists you in doing so then the race has lost its purity.

    Cadence in the pool? Makes sense to me.
    GPS in the pool? Welllll....

    But I wish you luck with your endeavors.
    SydneD
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited May 2014
    @RaymondRogers Nice sales pitch thanks but no thanks. It's pathetic all those devices a triathlete uses. The man with the biggest wallet wins. Not the best athlete. :-(

    You are quoted in the article: As software developers by trade, Holm and Rogers help large companies utilize real-time data-which is why they quickly realized the need for more data when they entered the world of competitive triathlons and found swimming to be the hardest component.

    Maybe you better started practising on the swimming to improve your swimming.
    Chrisgreene

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    I think the more logical discussion would be to ask how the pioneers of Triathlon/Ironman feel about the technological progression in the sport since they raced.

    (The bike is more complicated and less feasible to strip down to basics...nobody's gonna ride a tricycle!)
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    Folk I really don't understand the disdain. It's not like marathon swimmers don't have artificial navigation aids already (boats and kayakers).

    I personally have crap sighting skills because in Aquatic Park I don't need them since I am not racing and can tell roughly where I am going by looking to the side, and in long swims I have the aforementioned navigation aids.

    That is the real limitation of this technology as it pertains to marathon swimming - in any swim long enough to be called a marathon you are likely (for safety reasons) to have an escort (with some edge cases). Now there could be some benefit if you don't trust your escort to navigate properly, but that problem is probably better solved by equipping and training the escort than loading down the swimmer with gadgets.

    @DanSimonelli Given the profusion of technology in the other disciplines (running, biking) I think that ship has well and truly sailed with respect to triathlons.


    @RaymondRogers Just curious - I'm assuming you'd have to load the gps co-ordinates of the waypoints into the device, do you have a mode where the user could swim the course beforehand and mark the waypoints on the swim either as they swim or in the software afterwards?
    Leadhyena

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member

    In addition to tracking direction, IOLITE also assists swimmers with information on distance, speed and cadence.

    @dc_in_sf Would you allow the information on distance, speed and cadence also?

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    edited May 2014
    Niek said:

    In addition to tracking direction, IOLITE also assists swimmers with information on distance, speed and cadence.

    @dc_in_sf Would you allow the information on distance, speed and cadence also?
    In the running and biking portions of a triathlon those are already allowed. Heck many marathons have official pace runners who are running to a specific pace so you don't even need a fancy device to get pace information.

    I think cadence might be a bit misleading here, AFAICT this is just a GPS device so it can only generate data based on your position and your position history. It is not going to give metrics on stroke rate, which is what I think most of use would translate cadence into. The device can really only measure the swimmers velocity relative to land, and not to the body of water they are in, which might be useful in a true current neutral swim (e.g. most triathlon swims) but would be less useful for most marathon swims.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't see this device being useful or appropriate for marathon swimming, and have my doubts on how useful it would be in a tri environment, but it does not appear out of place with other tri instrumentation and I think it is great that people are trying to be innovative.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • RaymondRogersRaymondRogers New Member
    dc_in_sf said:

    Just curious - I'm assuming you'd have to load the gps co-ordinates of the waypoints into the device, do you have a mode where the user could swim the course beforehand and mark the waypoints on the swim either as they swim or in the software afterwards?

    @dc_in_sf - Thanks for your post. IOLITE will have 2 main modes for guidance. First, is the ability to preload a course with a series of waypoints and have the device guide you to each waypoint in turn. The desktop software provides the ability for course creation, as well as downloading recorded swims for analysis. Using previous swim data, you can create a course, and load it to the device. IOLITE can store up to 5 preloaded courses to select from.

    Second, free-style mode, analyzes your initial swim direction and continues to guide you in that direction. IOLITE will determine when a turn was intentional, then begin tracking, and guiding along the new intended direction. Given that many race courses may not be known until race morning (at least with a great amount of accuracy), we forsee this would be the ideal mode for such circumstances.



    To address some additional concerns in this thread....
    First let me start by saying, many of you on this forum are very awesome athletes, and as I look through some profiles, acheivements, etc. I am awe stricken with some of the acheivements you've accomplished (i thought 2.4 miles was long, sheesh). I'm the first to admit I am relatively new to the sport of long distance swimming, and have a lot of practice ahead of me. There are obviously many differences in the mindset between marathon swimming and triathlon. Where triathlon is very gadget driven, and marathon swimming is more "purity of the sport" (and I completely understand that). Having gotten started with long distance swimming through triathlon, beginning with running and biking, I've learned to crave data, and real-time feedback during my workouts. Being a tech geek, I had the means to get that feedback during my swims.

    At first, I have found that the swimming discipline HAS been the hardest to train for (compared to biking and running), but it has come to be my favorite discipline of triathlon. For me (and I'm sure many others), triathlon has been a gateway for me to get into long distance swimming. I realize that IOLITE may not be allowed during many sanctioned marathon swims, but I still find great value during training swims. I would not want to deter anyone from trying distance swimming over their choice of using devices (wetsuits, gps devices, etc). If IOLITE provides any value to anyone to get into distance swimming, then it's a win for the entire sport.

    Raymond Rogers Co-Founder IOLITE http://SwimIOLITE.com

  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    dc_in_sf said:

    Folk I really don't understand the disdain. It's not like marathon swimmers don't have artificial navigation aids already (boats and kayakers).

    IOLITE provides the same positional advantage to swimming, that aerobars do for biking. The benefit is keeping your head down, staying streamlined in the water, keeping relaxed, and maintaining an efficient stroke. Focus on forward motion, not vertical motion for sighting.

    Observing the sighting skills of top open water swimmers and that certainly includes the better triathletes I’ve noted two items, they sight on a very regular basis much more then novice and medium skilled swimmers, second there sighting skills only minimally disrupt there streamline and body position. This is a skill that takes time and training to achieve, the disdain some open water swimmers feel is the sense that triathletes are trying to buy a finish as opposed to taking the time to train and earn the skill.

    Second, situational awareness is very important in open water (OW) swimming in racing and training. Not looking around is dangerous; I personally know of two triathletes that were severely injured keeping there heads down on aero bars descending a hill when they smashed into a car that left turned in front of them. Same thing can happen in OW maybe you won’t be inured nearly as severely but the collisions can still hurt. Additionally when racing OW you need to know where you are in relationship with the pack, what tack your going to take on turn buoy, the finish etc., you need to learn how to take efficient sighting peaks to become a better competitor.

    Watch this vid and note how often top swimmers are taking little gator peaks and how it effects there body position etc.


  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    http://www.swimiolite.com/#iosight IOLITE will help keep rhythm in your stroke with the cadence LED.
    That's in my opinion a sort of metronome.

    I think cadence might be a bit misleading here, AFAICT this is just a GPS device so it can only generate data based on your position and your position history. It is not going to give metrics on stroke rate,

    So it will give a kind of metrics on stroke.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    Niek said:

    http://www.swimiolite.com/#iosight IOLITE will help keep rhythm in your stroke with the cadence LED.
    That's in my opinion a sort of metronome.

    I think cadence might be a bit misleading here, AFAICT this is just a GPS device so it can only generate data based on your position and your position history. It is not going to give metrics on stroke rate,

    So it will give a kind of metrics on stroke.
    Fair enough.

    As I said, this sort of thing is still common in running and cycling so adding it to swimming in a Tri context seems perfectly acceptable.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    I don't care if triathletes use them.
    I'm afraid ow swimmers may want to use them during an event.

    Triathlon already has too big an influence on open water swimming.
    Look at the Henley race where non-wetsuit swimmers are penalized with an extra fee 'for safety reasons'.

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    edited May 2014
    @lakespray

    Totally agree with you on situational awareness.

    One of the things that intrigues me about something like the iolite is being able to do un escorted swims in environments where sighting is non trivial e.g. Lack of distinctive structures on the shore, poor visibility to environmental conditions (fog, night time) etcetera. Sadly though being unescorted in such situations and abdicating your navigational responsibilities is an invitation to become the open water equivalent of road kill.

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    This is exactly what I was talking about in one of the other threads about technology. Goggles with a little arrow. As long as I'm swimming in the right direction, it is facing "north" in my goggles. Just like my kayaker.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    I really dislike this "trend":
    http://rattlesnakeislandswim.com/swim-buddy/

    This race was taken over by a race manager who is forcing swimmers to tow a swim buddy. The event was unsafely managed last year by a small park department, who allowed the race to start 2 minutes after a nearby lightning strike. The 7K started off heading into 2-3' whitecaps and strong wind for 3.5K, (strong enough to add at 15-20 minutes to my projected time). Personal escort craft were required and 5-10 of those were reportedly swamped and had to be rescued. There were swimmers in the water who had no business swimming 7K, especially under those conditions. Towing a swim buddy into that much wind would've added substantial time and effort, especially for the last few finishers.

    Unfortunately, that blunder has resulted in this overreaction by the new race director. He has eliminated the personal escort requirement for the 3K but is forcing everyone to tow a swim buddy, even with an escort on the 7K.

    I contacted the race director to suggest that towing a blow up toy was no substitute for proper safety measures and rather than ruining a potentially good race, he should provide adequate safety coverage. He said the personal escort requirement was too cumbersome for swimmers and replacing them with swim buddies would be safer. Requiring a qualifying 5K swim and hiring enough lifeguards would actually be safer.

    I think decisions like this come down to greed on the part of race managers who want to max out their limit$ while satisying their insurance companies that everyone will be safe, regardless of swimming ability. They are trying to take swimming out of open water swimming.

    Penalizing swimmers who don't wear wetsuits is really pathetic. It bums me out to hear about that.

    Personally, I'm boycotting any race that requires swim buddies (or anything similar) and letting the race director know about it, including how much money I won't be spending in their town. Otherwise, we'll be bobbing around in lifejackets and scuba tanks before we know it.
    TimDexChrisgreene

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited May 2014
    @wendyv34 Don't come swimming in Italy then.
    A lot of events there use even large buoys. :)
    image

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    Ugh. That looks like a birthday party for a 5 year old.

    I wonder how long it will be before someone gets strangled by one of those things? It appears that they have plenty of slack to get tangled up in.

    Lifejackets, coming soon.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    wendyv34 said:


    Lifejackets, coming soon.

    They already have that. It's called "Wetsuit Division" :))
    phodgeszoho
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    LOL! At least some races still have a separate division for wetsuits. I hate it when they just assume everyone is going to wear one....although there is something slightly satisfying about beating a bunch of buff, young guys....wearing their $1200 wetsuits....you know, the kind with the abs & pecs printed on them....
    TimDex

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    Disregard. That review just came up in my FB feed, but looks like it was old from last May.
  • andissandiss Senior Member
    As an ex triathlete that has moved over to OW swimming (without a wetsuit) it has taken me almost a year to wean myself off triathlons and especially the gear hysteria. I used to think OW swimmer was self-righteous freaks but now I am embracing the no nonsense ban on gear and gimmicks.

    Triathlon is big business – one thing that was quite funny – Javier Gomez turned up at a US Triathlon 2014 and swam in speedos and cycled on a steel bike – he was only 1-2minutes after the winner – who was in ALL the gear. There was very little about this in the TRI media.

    Think that sums it up. Less is more!

    Now I just need to get a tad bit fatter!
    loneswimmerNieklakespraymalinakaTimDex
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    edited February 2015
    Must clean my reading glasses more often.
    fatter not faster. :\">

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • andissandiss Senior Member
    Fatter AND Faster - My bad!
    Niek
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    wendyv34 said:

    Ugh. That looks like a birthday party for a 5 year old.

    I wonder how long it will be before someone gets strangled by one of those things? It appears that they have plenty of slack to get tangled up in.

    Lifejackets, coming soon.

    I had a similar thought about the ones in the photo of the Italy swim. It looks very much like people could get tangled up.

    Last year, I borrowed from a friend a device similar to this one:

    http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/the-ishof-saferswimmer-float-23-x10--38639/?color=10881

    It was the first open water practice with my group, and the water temp was colder than I was used to. I don't wear wetsuits, but thought it might be a good idea, as I was going more slowly than others, to have some kind of safety device for the first outing. It wasn't uncomfortable, but I was aware of its being there. For the purposes of that swim, I didn't mind much, but in a crowded swim such as shown above, I think it would be pretty distracting.

    As for safety... if everyone's towing one of those, my thought would be that there wouldn't really be any benefit to any one individual. No one would stand out or be more visible than anyone else, so if someone were in trouble, would these things really be of any use in a situation like that? In the small group I swam with, sure, and if you're swimming solo, I can definitely see the benefit. But the larger the group, the less visibility for any one swimmer, I would think.

    The strap on the one I used doesn't seem as if it would tangle w/ others but I don't think even so that I'd want to use something like this in the crowded conditions shown above. But then again, I tend to stay away from large, crowded swims.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    My buddy got one of those floats you linked above. He asked me to try it out, mostly to find out if his phone would stay dry. I suggested we put a piece of paper in it, instead of his phone, for test purposes. Anyhow, after about 10 minutes, he yelled from the boat, "I can tell that's bugging you, do you want to take it off?" Yes, thanks. I didn't like it hitting my legs. I'd imagine the strap would eventually chafe.

    I guess I'm just not a fan of those things, especially as mandatory in a race. I understand the market for them with people who tend to train alone, but there's no substitute for having a pair of eyes watching out for you. The float won't save you if you knock yourself out on a piece of driftwood.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    @dpm50 @wendyv34 I'm not sure what to think about the ISHOF in events, I suppose I'd give a bit of leeway to the RD on that. But for individual efforts, the ISHOF has been a game-changer for me. I love the solitude of OW swimming, so I only have escorts when required. With the ISHOF I can do up to 10 miles without a food/water stash along my route, and I can swim straight to my target without (as much) traffic concern (however, I have found I am required to "explain myself" to concerned boaters more often with the orange buoy in tow than before). Plus I've got my phone and some cash for emergencies. No more hugging the shore to avoid boats and no more dropping food/water stashes the night before. Really opened up opportunities for me!

    Regarding chafing and stroke/kick interference, the rigging is adjustable enough to fix most problems. I wear the waist strap loose enough that it rides my hips instead of my waist, so its rubbing my suit and not my skin (the strap has become quite soft over time, anyway). I adjust the tether so the buoy sits in the dead space right above my knees and it never touches my legs (as far as I can recall). There are only three situations where I find it intrusive: (1) strong wind/waves (especially when I've got it loaded down with enough supplies that it gets pulled through the tops of the waves)--this can be a real beating; (2) when swimming in a cross-wind, it hits my downwind hand coming out of the water on recovery; (3) when the water gets shallow, I like to do those dolphin dives with long glides along the bottom--ISHOF really gets in the way of that...
    flystormsjkormanik

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • So, recently I got a new garmin watch and I plan to use it for training. And I believe that these goggles could be a good thing for training. I would definitely not approve of them used for a race (because that's the challenge and fun of OW swimming) but I think that goggles like this function alongside snorkels, fins, kickboards, and other training gear we have to help teach us to swim with good body position and in the right direction.

    "Observing the sighting skills of top open water swimmers and that certainly includes the better triathletes I’ve noted two items, they sight on a very regular basis much more then novice and medium skilled swimmers, second there sighting skills only minimally disrupt there streamline and body position."

    Sighting is an incredibly important skill to learn. But, so is swimming in a straight line. If you swim in a straight line, you don't nearly need to sight as often, and you swim faster. I know that when I dropped sighting from every 6 strokes to every 18 and depended more on "side-sighting", I got a lot faster in the water. I feel that goggles like these could help train a swimmer to keep the straight line instead of to fishtail, much like how using a snorkel helps train a swimmer to keep their head straight, or putting a kickboard between the legs helps you notice body rotation vs body "yawing". These are all important training tools, IMHO.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    The danger is to not get too dependent on these tools.
    Leadhyena

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    This is being advertised on FB again

  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    In answer to the question in the thread title: gills.

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