Clip-on HUD provides session info for swimmers

18th February 2015
Barney Scott

STMicroelectronics has announced its contribution to helping both casual weekenders and top-tier athletes keep their eyes on the prize while engaging in one of the world’s most popular activities. ST’s leading-edge technologies have enabled an innovative HUD monitor for swimmers from Instabeat that tracks, stores, and projects key information including heart rate and swimming speed on the goggles.

Regular swimming can improve people’s health and fitness and the availability of affordable technology can help swimmers monitor and improve their performance against personal targets. The latest product from Instabeat, using chips provided by ST, illustrates the role that technology can play in improving health and fitness worldwide and, specifically, in helping athletes achieve peak performance.

Swimming is a particularly challenging sport for the athlete to track in real time because the monitor must be waterproof and not interfere with the swimmer’s efforts or focus. Instabeat addresses this challenge by providing a small module that clips over the swimmer’s goggles and tracks, stores and displays key parameters including heart rate, swimming speed, the number of laps, the total distance swum and estimated calories burned. Optical sensors in the Instabeat module measure heart rate from blood flow in the temple, eliminating the need for a constricting chest strap, and three RGB LEDs project information onto the goggle’s lens. The module syncs via a wireless connection with an online dashboard, which the swimmer can use out of the water to set targets and review performance.

ST provides the technology at the heart of this innovative product. A 9-axis iNEMO inertial module (LSM9DS0) delivers motion sensing. A BlueNRG BLE network processor enables wireless connectivity. Power management is effected by an STNS01 Li-Ion Linear Battery Charger and overall system processing is handled by an STM32L1 low-power 32-bit MCU. The ST kit of parts also includes a TSV633 Micro-power CMOS op-amp.

“ST’s rich IoT portfolio covering the full spectrum of sensors, processors, power management, and wireless-connectivity functions is unleashing waves of creativity from innovative customers around the world,” said Philip Lolies, EMEA Vice President, Marketing & Application, STMicroelectronics. “Together with customers like Instabeat, ST is making positive contributions to people’s health, fitness, and quality of life.”

“Packing so much performance into a tiny module with such demanding size and weight constraints would not have been possible until recently,” added Hind Hobeika, Founder and CEO, Instabeat. “ST’s ability to supply and support so much of the key semiconductor technology has played a big part in helping us bring our dream to the market and work to train what could be the next generation of championship swimmers.”

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