Sensing & processing ICs enable "ultimate" swimmer's aid

16th October 2015
Posted By : Barney Scott
Sensing & processing ICs enable "ultimate" swimmer's aid

Tiny motion-sensing and data-processing chips from STMicroelectronics have enabled the ultimate activity tracker, designed for swimmers, by swimmers, with breakthrough positioning accuracy and real-time audio feedback from XMetrics. The ergonomic and lightweight device, which shares the company's name, clips onto the goggles' band at the back of the swimmer's head.

ST's 9-axis MEMS inertial module senses the body movements and provides precise data analysed by the XMetrics algorithm, executed inside an STM32F4 32-bit microcontroller,  to detect the swimming style and determine the number of laps and strokes, stroke frequency and quality, flip-turn efficacy, speed, and elapsed time.

The STM32F4 MCU from ST handles overall system processing inside the XMetrics swim monitor. It runs sophisticated algorithms that recognise and interpret all of the complex biomechanical parameters to provide first-level analysis. Swimmers get instant information on their performance through waterproof earphones so they know exactly how they are doing at any turn or stop during the swimming session. ST has also supplied a dedicated component that protects the XMetrics device against electrostatic discharge, securing a high level of signal integrity for the USB 2.0 interface.

XMetrics software and apps enable swimmers to program their training schedule and customise the audio feedback. Synchronisation via tablet or smartphone is automatic and any parameter can be changed at any time. Out of the water, users can analyse every aspect of their swim using advanced graphical tools and share results with their coach and friends.

"ST's leading-edge IoT technologies helped us realise our dream of developing an easy-to-use, powerful Smart-Things trainer that delivers personal-coach attention to every swimmer," said Andrea Rinaldo, CEO, XMetrics, and a swim coach and former professional swimmer.  "The superior performance and energy efficiency of ST's miniature chips maximise the monitor usability and make sure XMetrics users get the perfect balance of functionality, comfort, and battery life."

"The market's most accurate swim monitor with real-time audio feedback pushes the boundaries of what technology can do to help and encourage people to enjoy sports and stay fit," said Philip Lolies, EMEA Vice President, Marketing & Application, STMicroelectronics. "XMetrics' decision to rely on ST sensors and MCUs confirms our position as the IoT one-stop shop and go-to partner for creating 'Smart Things' that make positive contributions to people's health and quality of life."

"XMetrics is a great training and fitness tool for swimmers of all levels. If I'd had an XMetrics when preparing for the Olympics, I would probably have won one more medal," added Massimiliano Rosolino, an Italian swimmer and Olympic medalist.

Over the past year, XMetrics has benefited from funding and managerial support to grow their business by Breed Reply, the IoT Advanced Incubator of Reply.

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