Aquatics Sensors/IoT

OnCourse Goggles set swimmers straight on the open seas

It’s one thing to swim laps upon laps in a pool nicely appointed with lane ropes that provide visual cues to keep swimmers on the straight and relatively narrow, but those swimming in the open seas face a bigger challenge in not going off in one direction or another.

patent-claimedBy mixing together an electronic compass, accelerometer, processor, battery and the company’s software, OnCourse Goggles help keep swimmers moving in a straight line even in open waters by detecting water or wind forces. It uses this information to trigger LEDs inside the goggles to prompt simmers to veer left or right. The goggles are activated with the press of a button on their left side and charge via USB in about 45 minutes. And traithletes will be pleased to know that they have been approved for triathlete competitions. The company seeks $50,000 by September 18th. The goggles cost $200 and are expected to be delivered in February 2016.

The OnCourse Goggles look like they could be a helpful tool for moving forward — and even away from danger — for open water swimmers. Alas, without GPS, there’s no tracking of swim routes that the goggles can provide after the fact. Still, while they’re likely tough to justify for casual beach goers, they could make for a competitive advantage for serious aquatics competitors.

Technology Wearables

SmoothEye goggles combat DWI; tell you when to call a cab

Driving while intoxicated remains one of the largest safety issues facing the United States today. Thousands of people die in DWI-related car accidents each year.

The new SmoothEye, from a New Jersey company of the same name, resembles typical safety goggles. But attached is an infrared diode and small black camera that tracks the user’s eye movements to accurately measure alertness and focus level. The device is programmed to conduct the same sort of field sobriety test that’s used by police to estimate alcohol intoxication. Consumers can also use the device to discover what distracts them and what helps them focus. Backers who make a pledge at the early bird price of $149 or more are expected to get the device in March. Its maker is looking to raise $30,000 in crowdfunding.

SmoothEye lacks the fashion sensibility of a wearable device like the Vive Smart Bracelet, which was developed by students at the University of Washington and featured at Microsoft’s Design Expo, that can also measure a user’s intoxication level. SmoothEye is just too bulky for the average consumer to travel with it to a bar or other location outside of the home where it would most come in handy. The fact that it, at least initially, must be attached to a Mac or Windows PC to be used only makes matters worse. It is not yet compatible with any mobile devices. Still, the notion of a device that may prevent DWI’s is certainly welcome on the market, however awkward it may be.


Sleep’n’Say mask claims to be world’s coolest, also most verbose

Sleep n SayDoes anyone actually sleep well on a plane? Okay, for the .01 percent of humanity that actually does and aren’t kids with the ability to sleep anywhere and in virtually any odd position, consider Sleep n’ Say. The lightweight, light-blocking goggles post huge signs over the wearer’s eyes ranging from “Do Not Disturb” to “Rouse for Food”. Well, the second one is actually a bit more politely put. Anyway, backers can even pick their language and color just in case there are flight attendants that don’t know the universal language of English, and TSA decides that a post-it note on the forehead has too much potential as a dangerous weapon. For $25, backers can begin counting sheep in flight right around March 2015.


Hoogle makes winter sports face-friendly

HoogleSome people live for winter. The rush that comes with hopping hills on a snowmobile, zooming down a snow covered mountain and the thrill of a myriad of other outdoor winter sports makes them rush out to greet the first snow of the season, but a face full of frosty air can bring a person to a freezing halt. That’s why there’s Hoogle. The facemask-hood-goggles combo not only protects from cold and glare, but it even offers the option for some attitude with several artistic options. For $20AUD a backer gets the embroidered version, or $49AUD for first production pick. Expected deliver is August 2014 and October 2014.