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Will Swimtag make swimming more interactive & fun?

swimming-photoIf you’re into running there are all kinds of different apps and gadgets designed to keep track of your run, they tell you your pace, how far you ran, where you ran and let you know how long it’s going to take to reach your goals. However, if you’re much more of a water baby there isn’t as much choice and you’re left counting your lengths yourself, which can be really off-putting.

Well, a new system called Swimtag aims to change all that and acts as your own personal swimming coach, whether you go swimming once in a blue moon or you’re an advanced swimmer who’s at the pool everyday.

To use the system, the pool has to be in on the technology too, which is why you may not have heard about Swimtag up until now. So you swipe your Swimtag card before entering a participating pool and you then receive a wristband. When you wear the wristband in the pool you can then monitor all kinds of things, such as the number of lengths you do and the types of strokes you take. As soon as you’ve finished swimming all of that important data is then uploaded to your account, which you can view online, via mobile, or even at a special kiosk run by the pool.

There are all kinds of similarities with running apps and services like Nike+ and Runkeeper, because you can select special training plans, add friends from social networks, share your swims and even set challenges too. There’s also interestingly integration with online charity platform JustGiving as well, so you can raise money for your swims and prove that you’ve done them afterwards.

The Swimtag system is designed to be as simple and easy-to-use as possible, so it makes sense that it shares a lot of similarities with Nike’s increasingly popular running app, Nike+. The fact you give your wristband in at the end of the swim means users have nothing to worry about, they just carry their cards in their wallets and all other kinds of information are accessible online. We imagine it’ll be a successful system for swimmers of all levels, beginners will have an added incentive to get moving and advanced swimmers will be interested in improving and finding out more about how they swim.

The only thing that we think may stop Swimtag from becoming a big success is its availability. Right now pools have to participate so you can get a wristband on your way in, that means if too many say no to the system only a few venues will let you track your swims in the future. There’s no official word on the Swimtag website about locations just yet, but apparently 661 swimmers are currently using it and if you want to find out more about availability you can get in touch with one of the Swimtag team.

[Via Springwise Image via Jim Bahn’s Flickr]

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