SwimAR, another Launchpad finalist at the Subcon show taking place next week, is a sports technology business with the vision to transform swimming through wearable augmented reality goggles. By having a waterproof heads-up display, swimmers can see real-time, live data such as heart rate, time, laps, distance and average pace. We caught up with SwimAR ahead of the show and competition next week and found about a bit more about them and their journey.
This product also enables the gamification of swimming which will open up the activity to new forms of revenue for coaches, teams and individuals.
Having team members that are skilled in design, engineering, business and sales it gives the startup an edge that not all companies have. In the past few years SWIMAR has worked with a cutting-edge holographic waveguide technology to create a waterproof prototype of the product that has been tested by various swimmers. The main target audience is swimmers and triathletes, but the product has applications beyond use in elite and recreational sport.
When were you launched?
How many people are working for the company?
There are currently four team members.
Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence
SwimAR develops underwater heads-up displays for swimmers and Triathletes.
Why is it unique?
SwimAR attaches to a regular pair of goggles and uses a holographic waveguide display module that provides real-time data such as laps, distance and time that appears to float in the water in front of you.
What problem does it solve?
Swimmers and Triathletes have no way to get real time data on performance such as heart rate when they are in the water. This means that swim training is lagging decades behind other sports such as running and cycling.
Do you have any clients using the product?
George Mason University in the USA is trialling a pair of demonstrators and Aqualung have tried the prototype.
What do they like about it?
George Mason University likes the fact that they can carry out research into multi-tasking while swimming. Aqualung liked the clarity of the display and the potential for their customers to improve and gamify training.
What are your growth plans?
Secure investment to carry out the development to launch and then sell the product in Europe and the USA. We plan to grow over the next 3-5 years to a fully operational brand of wearable tech products for swimming and water sports.
How have you funded the innovations behind your development?
To date the development has been funded by the R&D efforts of The Imagination Factory.
What is the investment climate like for start-ups?
Very difficult for hardware start-ups in the UK. There is little appetite for hardware in a space where the full market potential is not well understood.
What government / quango agencies have you used?
Knowledge Transfer Network. British Library. Digital Catapult.
What was most appealing about being part of the Launchpad?
The opportunity to be at the Subcon and Engineer Expo Show and showcase SwimAR to a wide audience.
What would it mean to you to win?
It would create recognition for the hard work we have put in to innovating in a very challenging space and hopefully attract partners, funders and potential customers.
Who would be the dream advisor?
Someone with experience of the supply chain from sourcing the right components through to the logistics and delivery to customers.