GB2545191A - Swimming performance tracking device - Google Patents

Swimming performance tracking device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2545191A
GB2545191A GB201521584A GB201521584A GB2545191A GB 2545191 A GB2545191 A GB 2545191A GB 201521584 A GB201521584 A GB 201521584A GB 201521584 A GB201521584 A GB 201521584A GB 2545191 A GB2545191 A GB 2545191A
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GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
tracking device
swimming
magnetic induction
swimming performance
performance tracking
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
GB201521584A
Other versions
GB201521584D0 (en )
Inventor
William Baddeley David
James Sloyan Kieran
John Maxwell Philip
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
222 SPORTS Ltd
Original Assignee
222 SPORTS LTD
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07CTIME OR ATTENDANCE REGISTERS; REGISTERING OR INDICATING THE WORKING OF MACHINES; GENERATING RANDOM NUMBERS; VOTING OR LOTTERY APPARATUS; ARRANGEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS FOR CHECKING NOT PROVIDED FOR ELSEWHERE
    • G07C1/00Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people
    • G07C1/22Registering, indicating or recording the time of events or elapsed time, e.g. time-recorders for work people in connection with sports or games
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B5/00Near-field transmission systems, e.g. inductive loop type
    • H04B5/0075Near-field transmission systems, e.g. inductive loop type using inductive coupling
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/10Positions
    • A63B2220/13Relative positions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2244/00Sports without balls
    • A63B2244/20Swimming

Abstract

Poolside magnetic induction transmitters placed at each end of the pool generate magnetic fields that are distinct from each other. A wearable device such as a wristband on the swimmer receives the magnetic field by way of near field communication (NFC) and has control circuits that establish at which end of the pool the swimmer is located. The wristband can wirelessly transmit data to be displayed on a screen housed in the nearest magnetic induction transmitter without further input by the swimmer. The control circuits can use the location data to generate performance data. The wristband may contain a 3 dimensional accelerometer. The swimming performance data can be recorded for later analysis.

Description

Swimming Performance Tracking Device [1] This invention relates to a sports performance tracking device particularly although not exclusively for use in a swimming pool.

[2] Particularly but not exclusively the invention relates to a watertight wristband and / or poolside display unit that records and / or displays the number of lengths, pace, distance, stroke type, stroke rate and any number of performance parameters that can be calculated using the data recorded during swimming activity.

Background of Invention [3] Swimmers interested in performance related information are also keen to focus on their swimming and technique, and do not want to be concerned with the need to interact with a performance tracking device while swimming.

[4] Swimmers that wish to wear a performance tracking device are also concerned with its physical size and reliability, especially as it needs to operate in a harsh environment.

[5] Swimmers wearing googles may be unable to clearly see a small visual information display on a small performance tracking device.

[6] Many popular swimming watches generate swimming performance results while swimming, however the swimmer is required to start and stop the device manually. Also many devices fail to detect some changes of direction that a swimmer makes, since they rely solely on changes in the devices acceleration to determine when the swimmer has started a new length. The major disadvantage or problem associated with such devices is that the length count and thus distance swum can become inaccurate when lengths are miss-counted. This can also affect the accuracy of other derived swimming statistics e.g. calories burnt.

[7] A second major disadvantage of other swimming watches is that the size of the screen, on which swimming statistics are displayed, is constrained by the small dimensions of the watch. This makes it difficult to view without removing swimming goggles.

[8] A third major disadvantage of other swimming watches is that swimmers with poor technique or that are performing drills e.g. kick lengths, are often presented with inaccurate swimming statistics, where the statistics are based only on accelerometer data or from other movement sensors. They have no fixed points of reference on which to base the swimming statistics .

[9] A fourth major disadvantage of other swimming watches is that swimmers are constrained to swim in straight lanes in an indoor pool, where the statistics are based only on accelerometer data or from other movement sensors.

[10] The invention aims to eliminate or reduce such problems by providing a new swimming performance tracking device that requires no interaction during exercise to operate, does not miss-count the number of lengths completed, has the ability to be used open water swimming scenarios and has the ability to display the swimming statistics on a larger poolside display.

Summary of the Invention [11] According to the invention there is a swimming performance tracking device which consists of a watertight enclosure containing a processing unit, a magnetic induction receiver and other motion sensors, that can be used to derive performance statistics regarding the swimmers activity.

[12] Magnetic induction transmitters are placed at each end of the swimming pool. The alternating magnetic field generated by the magnetic induction transmitters is not affected by the presence of water, and so can propagate out to a swimmer swimming under water or equally on the water's surface.

[13] Magnetic induction transmitters may also be placed on floats or buoys in an open water swimming environment.

[14] The magnetic induction receiver built into the swimming performance tracking device can detect the signals transmitted by the magnetic induction transmitters positioned at the ends of the pool, or on floats or buoys in an open water swimming environment.

[15] The magnetic induction transmitters each transmit a different signal, determined by which side of the pool lane they are located. This allows the swimming performance tracking device to determine which end of the swimming pool it is currently located.

[16] If the magnetic induction transmitters are located in an outdoor open water swimming environment, the magnetic induction transmitters each transmit a different signal based on their location. This allows the swimming performance tracking device to determine its position in the open water environment.

[17] Preferably the performance tracking device attachment mechanism is via an adjustable strap which enables the device to be attached to a swimmers wrist, thus allowing the magnetic induction receiver to come into proximity with the poolside magnetic induction transmitters when the swimmer is near the end of the pool.

[18] The invention may include a display on the enclosure preferably attached to the swimmers wrist, which allows swimming performance statistics to be displayed while the swimmer is in the swimming pool.

[19] The invention may include a large display on the magnetic induction transmitter enclosure, which allows swimming performance statistics to be displayed while the swimmer is in the swimming pool.

[20] In a preferred embodiment the swimming performance tracking device logs all the data from the magnetic induction receiver and other built in motion sensors so that it can be analysed after the swimming activity has taken place. This post analysis capability enables the device to function with or without a built in display, thus further reducing the burden on the swimmer and reducing the devices complexity.

[21] In a preferred embodiment the swimming performance tracking device includes a wired or wireless interface to enable the device to be connected to the internet, thus allowing the swimmer to retrieve swimming statistics which can then be analysed via software operating on a remote and / or local computer system.

[22] In a preferred embodiment the swimming performance tracking device processor transmits swimming statistics such as the length count via a radio frequency interface, so that the information can be displayed on external displays such as the poolside magnetic induction transmitter device.

[23] In a preferred embodiment the poolside magnetic induction transmitters and the performance tracking device's magnetic induction receiver are tuned to the same resonance frequency.

[24] In a preferred embodiment the device includes a means to determine the time which has elapsed during a swimming session.

Brief Description of Drawings [25] The invention will now be described by way of example only, with reference to the following drawings, in which; [26] Figure 1 is a front view of an embodiment of a swimming performance tracking device, where the device enclosure is mounted to the swimmer by means of a wrist strap.

[27] Figure 2 is a front view of an embodiment of a poolside magnetic induction transmitter.

[28] Figure 3 is a side view of an example installation of a magnetic induction transmitter sat on the side of a pool, where the propagation of the transmitter's magnetic field through the water can be seen.

[29] Figure 4 is a side view of an example installation of a magnetic induction transmitter mounted to a wall on the side of a pool, where the propagation of the transmitter's magnetic field through the water can be seen.

[30] Figure 5 is a side view of an example installation of a magnetic induction transmitter mounted to a buoy or a float in an open water environment, where the propagation of the transmitter's magnetic field through the water can be seen.

[31] Figure 6 is a functional block diagram of the swimming performance tracking device.

[32] Figure 7 is a functional block diagram of a poolside magnetic induction transmitter.

[33] Figure 8 is a block diagram of the poolside magnetic induction transmitter circuit.

[34] Figure 9 is a block diagram of the swimming performance tracking device magnetic induction receiver circuit.

[35] Figure 10 is a flow chart that shows how the swimming performance monitor determines when to increment its current length count, based on the detection of signals from the poolside magnetic induction transmitters.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment [36] Referring to figure 1 of the drawings there is shown a swimming performance tracking device 10 for use by a swimmer, which consists of a watertight enclosure 12 containing the processing unit and magnetic induction receiver 13. An adjustable strap 11 attaches the watertight enclosure to the wrist or ankle of the swimmer.

[37] The means of attachment of the device 12 could be adapted to fit around another part of the swimmer. In a different embodiment the device 12 may be attached using a belt so that the swimming performance tracking device could be attached to the swimmers waist. Alternatively a mechanism may be used so the device 12 can be attached to a swimmers head cap, goggles or other clothing and accessories.

[38] The swimming performance tracking device 10 is controlled by an electronic circuit based around a microcontroller 60 which is programmed to carry out all the device functions.

[39] A communications interface 14 forms part of the swimming performance tracking device 12. This is connected to and controlled by the microcontroller 60, which enables the device to communicate with external computers and / or mobile handheld devices. This enables the swimmer to analyse their swimming performance data on any number of different technology platforms. In the preferred embodiment this is a USB (Universal Serial Bus) communication link, but could be an alternative electrical and / or radio and /or optical based communications interface.

[40] A magnetic induction receiver 61 is housed within the swimming performance tracking device enclosure 12. This is connected to the microcontroller 60, allowing the microcontroller to detect the signals transmitted by the poolside magnetic induction transmitters when in range.

[41] The magnetic induction receiver shown in figure 8 consists of a LC circuit 82 which is tuned to be at resonance at the transmitter signal generators output frequency. The output of this LC circuit 82 is fed into an amplifier 81, and then the amplified analogue signal is passed into a comparator 80. The output of this is a digital signal that is passed to a frequency detector 84 which may be implemented in hardware or firmware on the microcontroller 60.

[42] An accelerometer 64 is connected to the microcontroller 60, allowing additional swimming performance data to be sampled by the microcontroller.

[43] A solid state Flash memory device 63 is connected to the microcontroller 60. In an alternative embodiment of the device an alternative storage medium may be used. The memory device 63 allows the microcontroller 60 to record any swimming performance results obtained from either the magnetic induction receiver 61 and / or the accelerometer 64.

[44] Referring to figure 2 of the drawings there is shown a poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20, which contains a microcontroller 23 and magnetic induction transmitter 24. This drives an induction coil 21 that generates an alternating magnetic field. The unit can be mounted to the side of the pool by a wide variety of brackets, mounts, bases, enclosures and / or floats.

[45] The poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20 may be powered by a battery pack 22, or other power source.

[46] The poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20 is controlled by an electronic circuit based around a microcontroller 70 which is programmed to carry out all the device functions.

[47] Figure 9 of the drawings shows how a frequency generator 90 is used to drive an oscillating current through the transmitter coil 21, operating at a frequency such that the coil is operating at its resonance frequency. This will ensure the maximum transmission range is achieved for a given input waveform.

[48] The LC circuit 92 consists of the transmitter coil which is an inductor, and a parallel capacitor. The values of these are chosen so that the LC circuit is in resonance at the signal generators output frequency.

[49] A communications interface 73 forms part of the poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20. This is connected to and controlled by the microcontroller 70, which enables the device to communicate with the swimming performance tracking device worn by the swimmer. This enables the swimmer to analyse their swimming performance data in real time, on a display 72 built into the poolside magnetic induction transmitter. In the preferred embodiment this is a radio frequency link, but could be an alternative electrical and / or radio and /or optical and / or magnetic induction based communications interface.

[50] In the expected operating scenario the swimmer attaches the performance tracking device 10 to their body prior to performing any swimming activity. They may then enter the swimming pool at any given point in time after attaching the device 10 to their body. They may for example go to the gym before going for a swim while still wearing the swimming performance tracking device 10 and not go swimming. While swimming the swimmer may decide to leave the swimming pool for a rest, or to get changed while still wearing the swimming performance tracking device 10. The swimmer may then remove the device 10 at any given point in time following the swimming activity.

[51] Figure 3 shows a typical setup of the system. Poolside magnetic induction transmitters 20 placed at the ends of the pool generate alternating magnetic fields which propagates out into the water of the swimming pool. The range 34 of this field is determined by the strength of the output from the signal generator 91, and the size and number of turns of wire that make up the transmitters coil 21.

[52] When a swimmer wearing the performance tracking device 10 enters the swimming pool at either end, they will be within range of a poolside transmitters alternating magnetic field 32. The performance tracking device's magnetic induction receiver 61 will detect the signal and thus determine its position in the swimming pool.

[53] As the swimmers swims back and forth in the swimming pool lane, the performance tracking device will enter the alternating magnetic field areas 31 of poolside magnetic induction transmitters 20.

[54] As shown in figure 10, the performance tracking device will be able to determine if the received signal detected has changed and thus if the swimmer has completed a length of the pool.

[55] When the swimmer wearing the performance tracking device 10 enters within range 34 of a magnetic induction transmitter 20, it will record its current position 103 based on the signal detected. If at any time this stored position changes 104, then the length count will be increased by one 105, since the swimmer must have moved from one end of the pool to the other .

[56] The swimmer wearing the performance tracking device may swim on the water's surface, or below the water's surface 31 when they enter the range of the poolside magnetic induction transmitters alternating magnetic field 32. The field will propagate through the water in the same way it propagates through the air.

[57] Because the performance tracking device 10 can determine when it has entered the swimming pool based on the first time it's magnetic induction receiver 61 detects a signal from a poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20, swimming performance data relating to non-swimming activities prior to entering the pool can be discarded by the microcontroller 60. Only true swimming performance data will be recorded to the storage device 63. This will also save memory on the storage device .

[58] Because the performance tracking device 10 can determine when it has left the swimming pool based on the last time it's magnetic induction receiver 61 detects a signal from a poolside magnetic induction transmitter 20, swimming performance data relating to non-swimming activities performed after entering the pool can be discarded by the microcontroller 60. Only true swimming performance data will be recorded to the storage device 63. This will also save memory on the storage device.

[59] Swimming statistics generated by the performance tracking device 10 microcontroller 60 and stored on the internal memory 63 are transmitted via a built in RF transceiver 62. This information can then be received by an RF transceiver 73 built into the magnetic induction transmitter 20, and then displayed on a built in visual display 72 such as an LCD screen.

[60] The invention has been described by way of example only, and different modifications of the preferred embodiment may be made by people skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention as laid out in the following claims.

Claims (25)

Claims
1. A swimming performance tracking device for use by a swimmer comprising: a. a waterproof enclosure; b. means for attaching the device onto said swimmer; c. a number of external magnetic induction transmitters outputting position reference data; d. a magnetic induction receiver providing an output to determine the swimmers location; e. a number of sensors outputting data; f. a control circuit to derive swimming performance data; g. a wireless communications interface; h. a data storage device.
2. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the attachment means is a wrist strap.
3. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the attachment means is a waist strap.
4. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the attachment means is a clip.
5. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the external magnetic induction transmitters transmit different signals depending on which side of the swimming pool they are located.
6. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to the side of the pool via a bracket.
7. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to the side of the pool via a stand.
8. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to the side of the pool via a float.
9. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the magnetic induction receiver is tuned to the same frequency as the magnetic induction transmitters so as to detect their signals when in range.
10. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the control circuit uses signals output from the magnetic induction receiver to automatically start and stop recording swimming performance data without any input required from the swimmer wearing the device.
11. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the calculation of the number of lengths swum is based on the swimmers proximity to external magnetic induction transmitters, using their known locations to determine if the swimmer has moved from one side of the pool to the other.
12. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein one of the sensors is a three axis accelerometer.
13. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the recording of accelerometer data is started and stopped automatically, based on the analysis of the magnetic induction receiver output to ensure the data recorded is only related to swimming activity.
14. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the magnetic induction receiver output is used to avoid the need to incorporate any external buttons or user interface on the device.
15. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the swimming performance data can be transmitted via the wireless communications interface to external display located on the external magnetic induction transmitters .
16. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein the swimming performance data can be transmitted via the wireless communications interface to external displays located around the swimming pool area.
17. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 1, wherein derived swimming performance data is recorded so that it can be analysed following the swimming activity.
18. An open water swimming performance tracking device for use by a swimmer comprising: a. a waterproof enclosure; b. means for attaching the device onto said swimmer; c. a number of external magnetic induction transmitters outputting position reference data; d. a magnetic induction receiver providing an output to determine the swimmers location; e. a number of sensors outputting data; f. a control circuit to derive swimming performance data; g. a wireless communications interface; h. a data storage device.
19. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein the external magnetic induction transmitters transmit different signals depending on their position within the open water area.
20. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein open water based external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to a float.
21. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein open water based external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to a buoy.
22. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein open water based external magnetic induction transmitters are mounted to a boat.
23. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein the calculation of the distance swum is based on the swimmers proximity to external magnetic induction transmitters, using their known locations to calculate distance .
24. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein the swimming performance data can be transmitted via the wireless communications interface to an external display located on the float, boat or buoy mounted external magnetic induction transmitter devices.
25. The swimming performance tracking device of claim 18, wherein the swimming performance data can be transmitted via the wireless communications interface to external displays located at the entry and / or exit point of an open water swim.
GB201521584A 2015-12-08 2015-12-08 Swimming performance tracking device Pending GB201521584D0 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201521584A GB201521584D0 (en) 2015-12-08 2015-12-08 Swimming performance tracking device

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201521584A GB201521584D0 (en) 2015-12-08 2015-12-08 Swimming performance tracking device

Publications (2)

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GB201521584D0 GB201521584D0 (en) 2016-01-20
GB2545191A true true GB2545191A (en) 2017-06-14

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GB201521584A Pending GB201521584D0 (en) 2015-12-08 2015-12-08 Swimming performance tracking device

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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5812049A (en) * 1996-10-25 1998-09-22 Micro Utility Ltd. System and method for monitoring a competitive activity
US20030189484A1 (en) * 2002-04-03 2003-10-09 Rust Robert A. Data display system and method for an object traversing a circuit
GB2468840A (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-29 Nicholas Joy Swimming Lap Counter and Timer
WO2012125114A1 (en) * 2011-03-15 2012-09-20 Swimtau Ab System and method for determining the movement of a user in a swimming pool
US20150209614A1 (en) * 2014-01-28 2015-07-30 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Swimming race system, swimming race method, method of managing water quality, and display apparatus

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5812049A (en) * 1996-10-25 1998-09-22 Micro Utility Ltd. System and method for monitoring a competitive activity
US20030189484A1 (en) * 2002-04-03 2003-10-09 Rust Robert A. Data display system and method for an object traversing a circuit
GB2468840A (en) * 2009-03-16 2010-09-29 Nicholas Joy Swimming Lap Counter and Timer
WO2012125114A1 (en) * 2011-03-15 2012-09-20 Swimtau Ab System and method for determining the movement of a user in a swimming pool
US20150209614A1 (en) * 2014-01-28 2015-07-30 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Swimming race system, swimming race method, method of managing water quality, and display apparatus

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