If you’re a bit of a water baby then you’ve probably been feeling left behind by the smartwatch revolution. Until now.
Paddlers and splashers need fear no more: gone are the days of the “splashproof” activity tracker, in the form of Misfit’s new Shine, a tie-in with swimming kit aficionados Speedo.
Properly waterproof to 50m and just as sleek and lightweight as the original Shine, the new crawl-tracker has been developed in partnership with Speedo’s in-pool advanced development facility, the Aqualab.
It might sound like the birthplace of the next Marvel cash-in, but laugh at Aqualab at your peril: the Australian company’s industry-leading development department was responsible for the Fastskin swimwear that saw Michael Phelps splash to glory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
And with proprietary lap-counting algorithms, swim distance, calories burned and all-stroke compatibility, as well as syncing with the Misfit App for iOS and Android, the Speedo Shine doesn’t seem to be doing doggy paddle.
Interaction between the new Shine and Speedo’s personalised swim tracking app, Speedo Fit, is also in the works, suggesting this is more than just a branding exercise.
Previously, breast-strokers and front-crawlers looking to join the smart wristwear revolution have been limited to specific tech at the higher end, such as TomTom’s Multisport.
With most activity trackers (such as the Jawbone UP3) being just splash- or shower-proof at best, and truly smart wrist-wrappers (think Apple Watch or Moto 360) being only marginally less immune to water than the Wicked Witch of the West, the idea of a casual, affordable tracker you can take a dip with is really quite appealing.
Enter, then, the Speedo Shine, packing aircraft-grade aluminium. Alongside its in-pool performance, the new Shine is also good for walking, running, cycling and sleep monitoring, utilising that sleek, simplistic glowing 12-position interface now ubiquitous with Misfit.
Not content to rely on the smarts of their new swim tracker to speak for itself, elite Speedo athlete and fitness ambassador (oh, and Olympic Gold Medalist) Missy Franklin has dived into the proverbial pool of PR to say that “With the Speedo Shine, you can focus on getting the most out of your water workout and it’s also a great looking accessory to wear.”
How much of Miss Franklin’s statement is based on the sort of extensive reviewing we pride ourselves on here at Stuff we’re not quite sure, but what remains to be seen is how useful the Shine will be during a workout.
Sure, Misfit’s app interface is pretty solid at giving post-workout stats, but with the lack of any LCD or equivalent screen akin to that on the likes of the TomTom, it’s hard to see it being easy to give a quick glance to keep track of pool performance progress.
Still, we’re excited to get our wrists in the Speedo Shine. As with the original Shine, the Speedo’s battery never needs charging (reports of it running on fairy dust are unconfirmed), and with its new waterproof wizardry it should be pretty easy to forget you’re wearing it.
The new Misfit model will be released exclusively, at least initially, at Apple stores worlwide on September 1, as well as on the Misfit website.