Wearable tech developed in Waterloo helps swimmers lap competition

A playing-card sized wearable sensor developed in Waterloo is helping swimmers fine-tune their performance.

A new wearable technology developed in Waterloo is using live performance data to help swimmers step up their game. 

It's called a Triton unit, developed by the company TritonWear.

It's about the size of a deck of cards and attaches to a swimmer's goggles, using motion sensors to measure details like stroke count, turn time and distance per stroke, painting an overall picture of a swimmer's performance. 

The data can be accessed poolside, in real time, on a tablet or computer.   

"Basically the coach can go out and see the athlete they want to look at or they can see a high level overview of the team as they train," said Tristan Lehari, co-founder and CEO of TritonWear. "They get real-time data every single length from their athletes."

Data access 'like never before'

About the size of a deck of cards, the device attaches to a swimmer's goggles and uses using motion censors to measure a swimmer's performance. (TritonWear)

A former captain of the University of Waterloo Warriors swim team, Lehari knew keeping track of a whole a pool full of swimmers at once was hard enough for coaches — let alone analyzing the minute performance details that separate high level athletes.

"There is one coach on deck, twenty-plus athletes in the water or a dozen performance metrics that a coach is trying to keep track of at a given time," said Lehari. "We have automated that process to let them spend more time coaching and really working with their athletes, plus they get data over time like never before in the sport."

In December 2015 the company received $500,000 from the federal Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation.

Since then, TritonWear has been adopted by athletes in twenty countries.  

"We even had an athlete break a national record in Norway based on changes they made while using our data," he said.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.