Smart swim goggles: Your questions answered
What are smart swim goggles?
Smart swim goggles look similar to traditional swim goggles but contain an array of hidden high-tech features and sensors. They can track and display swimming metrics such as lap count, number of strokes, pace and total swim time. This allows you to adjust and improve your swimming on the fly.
What do smart swim goggles track?
Smart swim goggles with a display are fairly new technology. They can track your progress as you swim, providing your stats and all the information you need right in front of your eyes. With this data visible, you can monitor your stats and make adjustments to improve your training in real-time.
Keep in mind that smart swim goggle capabilities will vary based on brand and model. The tracking capabilities may also differ within the same pair of goggles depending on whether you're swimming in a swimming pool, in the open water or a spa pool.
Here are some metrics that smart swimming goggles commonly track:
Distance per stroke
The goal of using smart swim goggles with a heads-up display is to be able to monitor your swim easily while you're in the water, without having to look up at a clock or try to check a waterproof fitness tracker on your wrist. Having your data visible at all times allows you to tweak your speed, pacing or technique seamlessly.
Some of the metrics require that you purchase other devices as well. For example, to have your smart swim goggles track your heart rate, you'll need to buy a heart rate sensor.
How do smart swim goggles work?
Smart swim goggles work by using a tiny computer that tracks more than 10 different points of data while you swim. You can use an app to choose which of these metrics you want to see displayed right in front of your eyes. Just like with smart glasses, the information may be displayed on a transparent screen on the lenses.
Swimmers must start by pairing their swim goggles with the company's app on their smartphone. Through the app, they can customize how they want the goggles to track and record their swims, and which metrics they want to be displayed while they swim.
After each swim, the goggles will send data to the app when they sync with your phone. This way, you can keep track of and compare stats from all your training sessions.
In addition to allowing swimmers to track their metrics, smart swim goggles also work to fulfill all the functions of standard swim goggles. Whether you go with smart goggles or standard ones, make sure to buy swim goggles that fit snugly to protect your eyes from chemicals and bacteria in the water.
How much do smart swim goggles cost?
You should expect to pay around $200 and up for a pair of smart swimming goggles with a timer and heads-up display plus access to an app. But with one of the leading brands, you have to pay monthly or annual subscription fees to get access to all their offerings.
Finis smart swim goggle kits cost $199, which includes the goggles and access to the app. You have three color combination choices: white with gray lenses, white with blue lenses or white with blue mirror lenses.
The pricing of FORM smart swim goggles is structured a little differently. They charge $228 for a yearlong membership, which includes a pair of smart goggles for swimming plus annual access to their guided workouts, training plans, video tutorials, a swimming app and a FORM swim community where you can connect online with other swimmers. They also offer the option to join monthly for $24 a month with a minimum six-month commitment.
What are the best smart swim goggles?
Two leading brands of smart swim goggles are Finis and FORM. If you’re an avid swimmer, you may wonder about the pros and cons of Finis vs. FORM smart swim goggles. Here's an overview of the features, pluses and minuses of both top brands.
FORM smart swim goggles — developed with the help of Olympic swimmers — claim to be the first smart swimming goggles with a screen. Here are some of their key features:
Display is directly in front of your eye on the goggle’s lens
Comes with interchangeable nose bridges
Offers wider range of metrics than Finis goggles (including stroke rate, average stroke count per length and more)
More customization than Finis goggles
Can be used as heart rate monitor with a heart rate sensor
May be used in open water and swim spas (with fewer features)
16 hours of battery life
Offers membership with coaching, guided swims, videos and a community
Finis smart goggles are newer than those offered by FORM and are slightly different in design. Here are some key features of the Finis smart swim goggles:
Display is more in the peripheral vision on the left side
Removable "Smart Coach sensor" clips onto side of goggles
Noticeably lighter than FORM goggles according to reviews
Comes with interchangeable nose bridges
Six hours of battery life
In short, you might choose FORM goggles if you value more metrics, longer battery life and want to see your metrics in front of your eyes. But you may prefer Finis goggles if you want a lighter and sleeker style, more simplicity and you prefer to see your stats off to the side.
In addition to these two established options, a new brand, Holoswim, is in development and being funded on Kickstarter.
Smart swim goggles FAQ
Are smart swim goggles allowed in competition?
Smart goggles for swimming are not approved by FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation), the international body that administers international swimming and water sport competitions. You may be able to use them in some triathlons or other events, depending on the rules set by the organizers.
Can I use smart goggles with glasses?
Just like with other swim goggles, smart swimming goggles are small and fit tightly to the face. Therefore, you can't wear smart swim goggles with glasses. However, you may still be able to read the display if you need vision correction but usually swim without it.
Can I get prescription smart swim goggles?
At this time, none of the main brands offer smart swimming goggles with prescription lenses.
READ MORE: Your Guide to Prescription Swim Goggles
Will smart swim goggles change the future of the sport?
Smart swimming goggles may allow amateur and professional athletes to track their stats in real-time, which can allow them to make changes in response during training. Some competitive athletes are already crediting smart goggles with helping them hit their training goals more easily.
Can I swim with pink eye if I wear goggles?
You should avoid swimming with pink eye, even if you wear swim goggles. Smart or not, goggles don't prevent a swimmer from spreading pink eye to others.
How many kinds of smart swim goggles are available?
The two main brands have been Form, which was introduced first, and Finis. A new brand of smart goggles, Holoswim 2, launched in August 2022 and is being funded on Kickstarter.
What’s it like to use smart swim goggles?
Wearing swim goggles with a display is fairly similar to wearing standard swimming goggles except for the stats shown on the display. One swimmer and health writer who wrote a review of FORM smart swim goggles stated that the display was fairly unobtrusive and did not disturb the tranquility of her swim.
While smart goggles for swimming may not have all the features of smart sunglasses – like drone vision or wearable bill payment – they can make a great addition to any swimmer's training kit.
Read about other smart glasses and contacts:
Your underwater coach. FORM. Accessed August 2022.
Smart goggle kit. Finis. Accessed August 2022.
Smart swim goggles give you real-time metrics during your workout. CNET. December 2019.
General questions. FORM. Accessed August 2022.
Finis smart goggles vs. Form smart goggles: rule the pool. Wareable. November 2021.
Holoswim 2: AR smart swim goggles. Kickstarter. Accessed August 2022.
Smart goggles and electric jumpsuits: the future of wearables. CNN. January 2022.
These smart swim goggles bring fitness tech underwater. Best Health. January 2022.
Page published on Tuesday, October 18, 2022