The Bixpy Jet lets you move like Aquaman, won’t help fish communication

With the amount of innovation going on in the crowdfunding arena, the world of watersports has never been more exciting. Case in point: the Bixpy Jet, a portable, personal water propulsion device that, with the help of a wide variety of attachments, can be attached any type of kayak, SUPs or just simply held.

This level of versatility lets the Bixpy Jet propel watercraft to about seven miles per hour, allowing kayakers to reach places they otherwise couldn’t. Of particular note is the device’s submersible battery which completely transforms the experience of diving by helping propel swimmers to three miles per hour. In designing the Bixpy Jet, inventor Houman Nikmanesh thought it important that users not be forced to buy a new watercraft, which is why all its attachments were created.

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.

Smartwatches/Bands Wearables

Swimmo smartwatch tracks pool performance, encourages strokes of genius

Perhaps the advent of the Apple Watch isn’t the be-all and end-all of smartwatches after all. At least until its app library fills out, there’s still room for specialized wristwear to make a splash.

patent-claimedEnter Swimmo, a smartwatch focused solely on the swimmer looking to increase strength and improve form. The OLED-equipped wearable is designed to be fully waterproof so as to work perfectly while tracking the length and intensity of each session. To do so, it captures everything from speed, distance, lap times, and heart rate, vibrating to alert users when to speed up or slow down in order to maintain a beneficial level of intensity to achieve set goals — all without having to interrupt the swim to take a look. The multilingual device uses  a patent-pending Rotate&Tap maneuver to keep things as streamlined as its users wish to be.


Pool Buoy lets you swim in the shade with your cool lemonade

One of the best ways to beat the heat on those hot, humid and sultry summer days is to go swimming. At the same time, it’s important to keep one’s skin from getting burnt in the sweltering summer sun.

The Pool Buoy floating umbrella is an interesting product which doesn’t just offer some extra shade, but also a convenient spot for you to keep your cool glass of lemonade handy. The Pool Buoy incorporates a weighted design that helps keep it upright in the water even in the face of wind and moderate waves. The pole for the umbrella is made out of strong aluminum while the umbrella itself is made out of ABS plastic for enhanced durability. The product measures 7 feet across and comes with five cup holders for easy access.

Overall, the Pool Buoy seems like a product capable fostering relaxation to an already lazy day at the pool. Summer-loving backers might also like to check out Hydropacer, Aqua-100, and Towel’on. The Pool Buoy campaign seeks to raise $75,000 by April 3, 2015. Early bird backers can pick up one product for $120 with an expected delivery of May 2015.

Aquatics Winter Sports

Übertüb lets you ride the waves, doesn’t offer tub service on demand

Pool rafts, inflatable beach balls and inner tubes all make for added fun in the summer sun. But the air often escapes and they deflate within a few hours.

Übertüb stays inflated until the user deflates it, and it can be used for more than just water fun. Multiple features set this multifaceted outdoor toy apart from the others. The redesigned air intake system allows for nearly any inflation method, though it also comes with its own inflation tool. The updated valve means that it won’t scratch the user or rip their swimwear, and it deflates quickly when it’s time to pack up. These tubes have been designed for several types of recreation. So they also work well in the snow and on dry land. Several color options and three sizes are available: the small size is 28 – 30 inches, medium is 36 – 38 inches, and large is 42 – 44 inches.

The product updates and reinforces a simple and classic source of outdoor fun. Water-loving backers might also like to check out Hydropacer and Towel’On. This campaign seeks to raise $65,000 CAD (~51,900 USD) by March 31, 2015. For $79 CAD (~63 USD), backers get one small Übertüb with an expected delivery of August 2015.


Hydropacer swim trainer guides swimmers, lights up laps

editors-choiceSwimming is a great way to stay in shape. Not only is it challenging and beneficial, but it’s a low-impact way to get some much-needed cardio.

Swimming workouts can be hard to keep track of, which is why the Hydropacer was developed. Hydropacer is a smart swim trainer that works with an accompanying smartphone app. Simply hook the smartphone up to the device and then set Hydropacer up along the side of the pool. It has a string of LED lights that go into the pool and rest along the bottom of the lane. The lights indicate how many laps must be done. With a rechargeable battery, this product can be used for a long time. It’s also portable at about the size of a tissue box so it can be brought to public pools.

In order to use, the swimmer selects which workout they want from a variety of choices and hits play. They have the option to pause, slow down or speed up any workout they choose. The app’s workout library is vast, spanning from Iron Man training sessions to speed conditioning. Hydropacer’s creators have compiled many routines from lots of different swimming professionals.

This product is certainly a cool concept, great for swimmers who need some help with their training. However, it isn’t executed that well. There isn’t any indication of how deep the pool can or cannot be in order for the lights to reach to the bottom and the design is lacking in style. Currently, it can only be used in 25 yard long pools. Still, swimmers can enjoy a wide variety of workouts which is a huge plus. For their own, backers can donate $360 for estimate delivery in May 2015. Hydropacer is hoping to raise $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Health and Wellness Wearables

Aqua 100 swim trainer provides strategies for your strokes

Activity trackers are great ways to not only stay in shape, but improve a workout from the ground up. Plenty of devices handle this task easily, but for those that prefer to push themselves through swimming, there are a number of hurdles an activity tracker needs to jump beyond just being waterproof.

The Aqua-100 is a personal swimming coach that gives real-time information without interrupt the rhythm and motions of swimming. Worn by strapping it onto the back of the hand, the Aqua-100 monitors laps, distance, number of strokes, stroke rate, and even what direction the swimmer is moving in. Because it’s worn on the back of the hand, swimmers can see this data as they extend their arms forward in mid-stroke, keeping the swimmer afloat and active. The information displayed can be changed by twisting the wrist twice, keeping the device easy and intuitive to use.

With a standard digital LED display with backlighting, the Aqua-100 is as easy to read as it is to use. The data tracked using the device during swimming can be uploaded to a computer as well, allowing avid swimmers to track their performance over time. The Aqua-100 is nearly ready to go to market, but needs $40,000 to be prepared for production. Swimmers can get their hand in one for $129, shipping in February 2015.

Having a dedicated tracker for a specific kind of workout is a must-have for athletes at any level and those who are passionate about a particular form of fitness. The Aqua-100 is an extremely functional device great for those that prefer to swim laps or just enjoy the water, but aesthetically the device lacks the flair of what people expect from activity trackers. If function trumps form, and swimming is the preferred exercise of choice, then Aqua-100 will be a sure buy.

Aquatics Safety

Send sharks scurrying with the Sharkstopper


In places like South Africa, Mexico, and Hawaii, the pleasant experience of basking in the sun and surf is made unpleasant by the fear of shark attacks. The Sharkstopper wants to ensure open-water safety with an acoustically-based ankle device that repels sharks with the cries of their natural predator, the killer whale. The company eventually aims to market this technology to the commercial fishing industry to prevent the unnecessary deaths of sharks attracted by the big catches made by fishing rigs. For now, beach bums can protect themselves with their own in January 2015 for a cool $225, with the project’s creator looking to raise $48,000 by the end of the campaign.

Aerobics Running

BSX measures lactate threshold to help pace your endurance workout

The Premise. Whether you’re a professional athlete or going for some recreational exercise, you always want to get the most out of your workout. Push your body too hard, and your muscles risk extreme injury or damage. Go to lightly with your workout, and you’re left with much to be desired from your regimen. There are certainly devices that are able to monitor your activity, but it’s still difficult to know just how much you get the most results out of your workout.

The Product. The BSX Insight is looking to change the way athletes monitor their workouts. Packed in a low profile design is a device thats able to monitor heart rate, cadence, pace and calories burned. But the BSX also brings something new to the table: lactate threshold monitoring. Previously, lactate threshold could only be monitored through a finger prick that drew blood, but BSX has developed a system that accurately measures what goes on inside your muscles. It then pairs with your smartphone or other wearable technology to give you live feedback on your athletic performance.

The Pitch. Co-Founders Dustin and Nithin take turns explaining the benefits of lactate threshold technology. This is the first time that that the technology is being made available to the average consumer, so it’s understandable that they take quite a bit of time in the video to explain just how the BSX Insight maximizes your workout and gives a more complete view of your fitness profile. From live action shots, the BSX Insight doesn’t seem to interfere at all with range of motion and activity, and it sleekly fits within the specially designed compression sleeve. The video ends with the two founders asking for donators to fund their final push toward production of their prototype before they run off to the horizon.

The Perks. A normal lactate threshold test can cost up to $200 per test, and in order to stay accurate, those tests need to happen every few months. The BSX Insight on the other hand is only $179 for runner’s edition. The multi-sport edition costs a few more dollars at $219. If you’re not sure whether or not the BSX Insight is for you, you can still support the campaign for $25 to receive a pair of compression sleeves and three months of free trainBSX premium access. The product is expected to be delivered in December 2014.

The Potential. The BSX Insight represents a step beyond the run-of-the-mill pedometers, but the obscurity of what it measures likely won’t resonate with people who aren’t ultra-competitive athletes. It may represent an extravagance for the casual runner, but its simplicity may make it an appealing addition to people’s everyday workout gear.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

Moov wearable adapts to your workouts, offers coaching to improve them

editors-choiceThe Premise. All those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight are already two months old. A small percentage of them are probably still in progress, most have already been given up on, and some never even got started. Of course, it’s harder to turn down a workout with a trainer that can motivate, push, and correct issues with form or impact.

The Product. The Moov is designed to be the personal trainer that it doesn’t feel awkward working out in front of. Pairing with a mobile device (only iPhone 4s or above supported currently), the Moov can be attached or worn anywhere to monitor movement and track stats. More than just a simple pedometer, the Moov can have apps created for virtually any kind of workout, with built-in support for running, body weight workouts, cycling, boxing, and swimming (it’s waterproof). Most of these workouts only require the base Moov, but boxing works best with a second unit, one on each wrist, and up to five can be used in conjunction with each other. This way, not only will distance or reps be tracked, but the device can even provide suggestions to help exercise more safely and effectively.

The Pitch. The Web site for the Moov is pretty underwhelming and just sort of generic 2014 startup with plenty of big pictures and lots and lots of scrolling. The video ads are slick though, and show off the flexibility and possible applications the device could have beyond workouts, though hearing Apple’s Siri as a fitness coach feels less encouraging and more like an Orwellian state-sponsored physical fitness mandate. Moov needs $40,000 to hit the ground running.

The Perks. The Moov can be pre-ordered for $59.95 (half the retail cost), but the product’s creators also offer backers a nifty referral link that others can click through to pre-order as well, earning the original backer a $5 credit for each pre-order. The first batch is expected to ship in the summer of this year.

The Potential.  Moov is a lot more versatile than the average fitness band, and the coaching and multi-device usage really help it stand out; of course, the quality of that coaching remains to be seen. It’s adaptability to different exercises remind one of the Atlas, byt Moov’s approach is quite different. Many people with Fitbit friends know that it becomes all they talk about or post on social media. The Moov looks like the next evolutionary step in personal fitness devices, and will certainly command the same kind of enthusiasm from anyone trying to get or stay in shape.