Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gliding to gold – world-beating software could boost British swimming

New computer software could enable Britain’s swimmers to improve a key aspect of their technique more quickly and effectively than previously possible – and so help them win more medals in major championships in future.

The software provides instant, in-depth feedback on a swimmer’s glide technique. Swimmers glide following starts and turns, when a swimmer is not moving their arms or legs but is just using their momentum to travel through the water. As well as supplying data on head position, body posture/alignment etc, the software actively suggests ways a swimmer can improve their posture to minimise resistance and pinpoints the optimum moment to begin kicking.

The new system offers two key benefits beyond the capabilities of any other currently used in elite swimming training. First, the feedback it generates is available immediately, so swimmers and coaches can use it at the poolside and implement its recommendations while a training session is still in progress; this will speed up the whole process involved in improving glide technique. Second, it generates data of unprecedented quality in terms of detail and accuracy.

Ultimately, the result will be faster times in races. Gliding more efficiently, with less ‘drag’, can cut vital fractions of a second from a swimmer’s time. The difference between winning an Olympic title and finishing out of the medals is often measured in hundredths of a second, so this innovative software could give British swimmers a valuable edge in their quest for glory.

The software is being developed by sports scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Aquatics Research and Education (CARE) with additional input from Sheffield Hallam University, and funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in collaboration with UKSPORT. Once tested and validated, it should be available to swimmers throughout the UK within around 12 months.

First, the swimmer is marked at their body joints using water-resistant markers. The swimmer is then videoed in action using underwater and poolside cameras, with the images fed into a computer equipped with the software. The software tracks the movements of the markers and runs the digitised position data through an innovative, highly sophisticated mathematical model developed at the University of Edinburgh by Dr Roozbeh Naemi. A replay of the swim then instantly appears on a plasma screen at the poolside, overwritten with graphs and data on different technical aspects of the glide.

“Both the speed and accuracy of the feedback will add to the value of the advice that coaches give their swimmers,” says Professor Ross Sanders, who is leading the project. “Another important benefit is that the alterations to technique suggested by the software are customised exactly to suit each individual swimmer.”

Swimmers from the prestigious City of Edinburgh and Warrender swimming clubs will participate in testing the new system and then in experiments to learn more about the factors relating to gliding performance.

“The software could even help to identify the champions of tomorrow,” Professor Sanders adds. “It will show which young swimmers naturally move easily through the water, which may well equate to outstanding ability or a particular aptitude for the sport.”

Natasha Richardson | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>