Satya Swaroop Dash
Satya Swaroop Dash
Computer Science

SwimTeam Designed By Microsoft Research & KAIST Helps You Compete With Virtual Swimmers

When sportsmen train, they often train by themselves alone. This has changed in recent times as now we have virtual trainers for athletics. Apps collect information about your current physical activities and provide training and feedback through auditory and visual clues. While those apps are helpful for sports such as running, no one has thought of applying the same technology to swimming until now. Microsoft Research Asia in association with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a new cooperative “exergame” called SwimTeam where you either compete or cooperate with virtual swimmers.

SwimTeam

If swimmers want to use SwimTrain, then they have to invest money in more than just an app. They also have to obtain a waterproof case for their smartphone and a pair of underwater headphones that will communicate information from the app to the swimmer. The team has included tracking tools, training tools and interactive games on to the SwimTrain. When you are swimming you will be assigned two opponents that are more or less like you when it comes to swimming. If you are competing with them then the SwinTeam system shall tell you if you are winning or losing and how far you are from the other two. If you chose the team option, then the app helps you match the strokes of your teammates so that you do not bump your virtual team members while swimming on the same lane.


So why have Microsoft Research and KAIST developed such a system? First of all they wanted to test how group fitness swimming worked and if swimmers could benefit from them or not.
When they put their system in action with real swimmers they received positive feedback from them as they said that group swimming activities enriched their swimming experience. Secondly, they wanted to give swimmers a training platform where they chose their opponents who matched their skill level. The only trouble is we do not know if SwimTeam will remain a test project or reach swimmers across the world.

Source: Microsoft Research, KAIST via Engadget

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