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Boosting Swimming Performance With Sound Data

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Olympic swimmers could benefit from the new training system.

A new system allows swimmers to expand their perception and feel for the water when training.


Researchers at Bielefeld University have developed a system that offers new training opportunities for swimmers by expanding their perception and feel for the water.

The "Swimming Sonification" system converts into sound how the pressure of water flow changes while swimming in real time, and the sound is played back to swimmers over headphones so they can then adjust their movements based on what they hear.

The user develops a kind of harmony, or melody, says Bodo Ungerechts, a biomechanist in Bielefeld's School of Psychology and Sports Science. "If a swimmer very quickly masters a lap, they can use the recording of the melody to mentally re-imagine and retrace the successful execution of this lap," he says.

The system also includes two gloves with thin tube ends that serve as pressure sensors, which are fixed between the fingers. The researchers say the swimmer wears these gloves during practice. The tubes are linked to a measuring instrument that transmits data about water flow pressure to a laptop, and software then converts the data into sound.

Thomas Hermann of the university's Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology says the researchers plan to develop a wearable system that can be used independently by the user.

From Bielefeld University
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