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18 June, 2018 - 08:04 By Tony Quested

Stroke of genius in CDP-Speedo swim tracking app

A new tracking app to help swimmers achieve specific fitness goals or time targets has been co-developed by Cambridge Design Partnership and global brand Speedo.

The Speedo On app has been designed both for people using the pool as a way to keep fit and healthy and competitive swimmers and coaches.

CDP created a swim tracking algorithm for the new generation technology which can capture a range of metrics via a water-resistant fitness band. The connected Speedo On app is featured on Samsung’s new Gear Fit2 Pro activity tracker. 

Sophisticated algorithms translate data from an accelerometer and gyroscope in the ergonomic wrist-worn device into measurements of lap count, lap time, stroke type and stroke count. 

The interactive tracking platform acts as a comprehensive training partner, offering analysis of swims and tracking progress against fitness goals. It also includes additional training programmes, tips and tailored advice, developed by some of the world’s best coaches and athletes.

CDP was part of a worldwide team that worked around the clock to produce the app and its accompanying service for swimmers against an extremely tight timescale. 

The team had just two months to develop the software in time for the launch of the Gear Fit2 Pro. CDP deployed a mixture of analysis techniques – using both classical and machine learning algorithms to identify the relevant swimming characteristics. 

“One of the key challenges was understanding which stroke was being used as we had to classify the data taking into account wide variations in swim technique,” said Roberto Basile, a software engineer at CDP. 

“Lap counting was also complex as we were simply using measurements of hand movements – yet needed to differentiate between normal swimming and the movements during a turn.”

The app also has a social dimension – enabling users to follow other swimmers, take part in challenges and share achievements. Swimmers can also complete time trials and get their SWOLF score – a swim efficiency measure.

“Speedo is committed to inspiring more people to get into the pool to achieve their fitness goals,” said Tim Sharpe, innovation director at Speedo owner Pentland. 

“The combination of CDP’s unique software skills and Speedo’s swim expertise has provided fitness-focused swimmers with a completely new level of tracking.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Roberto Basile

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