Form’s smart swimming goggles get refined for 2024

in 2019 Form introduced a pair of goggles with a built-in display that displays real-time data while swimming. Given how much the company got right the first time, word of the day for its successor Smart swimming 2, is subtlety. But a handful of incremental improvements also mean there’s no reason to shout from the rooftops for an upgrade.

Smart Swim is a pair of luxury swimming goggles with a thick case (“tech pack”) attached to an eye cup and crystal in the corresponding lens. With it, you can track heart rate, distance, split times, and more on the waveguide screen without ever breaking your cadence. you can see your statistics like

Much about the Swim 2 carries over from the first model, including the two-button user interface, display resolution (72 x 40) and many internals. The addition of a heart rate sensor (which the company says has been tweaked to work well in water) has reduced battery life from 16 hours to 12 hours. Swim in the English Channel.

Instead, the Form has cut and stuck to the existing model, with a technology package 15 percent smaller than its predecessor. Comfort and fit have also been reworked, with longer, more adjustable straps and a wider range of interchangeable nose bridges. Oh, there were a few features that Form put on first-gen hardware that have remained dormant until today. More on that later.


Form founder Dan Eisenhardt was on the ground floor of the wearables craze of the 2010s. His last company, Recon Instruments, was making head-mounted displays long before Google pushed Glass out the door. After first considering and then abandoning plans to make a swim-focused wearable, it teamed up with Oakley to launch a pair of smart glasses for skiing before creating the bike-focused Jet under its own name.

These early successes caught Intel’s attention as they searched for the next big thing in computing. It bought Recon, among other wearables companies, in a smart business strategy … before cutting its losses a few years later, it all went under. After the Recon went down, Eisenhardt and his colleagues returned to the product they originally built to chase the Recon, a head-worn swimming display.

Arrange the Smart Swim 2 side-by-side with its larger, older predecessor.Arrange the Smart Swim 2 side-by-side with its larger, older predecessor.

Photo: Daniel Cooper / Engadget

It is in use

Once you’ve downloaded the app and paired it with your glasses, getting started isn’t a difficult process. Turn it on by long pressing the power button and go to the options menu with the other button. You can choose from a pool, open water or swim spa – the latter available for specific partner gyms. If you’re in the pool, you can select its length from a list of default options and press start with the headgear automatically tracking your movement.

To be honest, not a huge amount has changed from the first version in terms of operation and usability. If you want more details, you can come back and Read my original review which will put you in pretty good stead. The only differences is that you actually get your heart rate on the screen. If memory serves, the markers that indicate when the headgear thinks you’re swimming and when you’re resting are updated more clearly and regularly. But it really is.

Now, remember when I mentioned that the first generation Forma had some extra machinery on board that remained dormant? SwimStraight debuts in Swim 2, but will also come to first-generation hardware — as long as you sign up for a premium software subscription. You see the tech pack has a magnetometer that can act as a compass and give you live direction as you swim. When activated, the bottom half of the display changes to a compass view that shows you a relatively accurate heading.

SwimStraight is designed for open water swimmers who otherwise rely on landmarks to determine their course. For example, if you’re circling a lake or sea, you might want to break your stroke every few minutes to make sure you line up with the buoy. But the company showed me GPS telemetry data showing that these constant adjustments cause swimmers to drift too far off course. However, if you have a live compass in your eye at all times, you will be able to more or less stay on the path you intended.

I won’t lie, this feature impressed me more than any of his work, given the low-tech nature of the hardware. Move your head and you can force a slight delay as the compass catches up to your orientation, but otherwise it’s very quick.

HeadCoach, meanwhile, launched last fall on first-generation glasses and is similarly kept behind a Premium paywall. The system looks at various elements of your form, such as the height and roll of your head, and how quickly you turn your head to the side to breathe. It then rates you out of 99 for each of these aspects, with video tutorials and suggestions for getting better. Then the next time you hit the pool, you can install these suggestions on your goggles, so you can get real insight into what you’re doing and how you can improve things.

Form’s Smart Swim 2 available worldwide today 249 dollars $339 in the US and Canada. Its predecessor now has a 1 added to its name and will remain available for $179, offering a more affordable entry point for those looking to become a cautious swimmer. The thing is, I think the Smart Swim 1 with Premium is probably the more attractive option for a lot of people. This isn’t a diss against the 2 as much as a praise for how good the existing model is. Look, if you’re a serious Triathlete who cares about your split times and own a Cullinan Diamond-sized Garmin, buy the 2. But if you’re a better swimmer than me (and it won’t be hard) but want some real-time data in the water, get the 1.

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