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July 24, 2008

FINIS Intros Underwater Digital Pace Clock, Waterproof MP3 Player

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The Olympic Games are fast approaching, and disciplined swimmers across the world are training daily for a chance to win at Beijing. Restrictive rules imposed on the swimmers have been loosened, permitting dolphin kicks on the breaststroke and flip turns in the medley.

Along with the changes to the sport, the supporting technology has also changed, according to one company.
Northern California-based company FINIS, Inc., founded by Olympic Gold Medalist and Stanford University Team Captain Pablo Morales and John Mix – known for its innovative gear – says it’s spent the past 15 years completing extensive R&D efforts to position itself as “the most technically advanced swimming equipment manufacturer in the United States and abroad.”
FINIS holds patents on products ranging from the Swimmer’s Snorkel, the Tempo Trainer, Zoomer fins, and the SwiMP3 – a newly released waterproof bone conduction MP3 player, according to the company.
The Underwater Pace Clock just released by FINISH is touted as a unique waterproof digital clock useful for competition and practice settings, according to the company. The clock can be completely submerged and remains waterproof up to depths of 16 feet (5 meters), according to the company.
The unit features a large 10-foot-by-10-foot double digit display that can be viewed from across the pool and is equipped with an LCD digit display to allow for clear readings from multiple angles and distances, company officials say. This technology is most useful to swimmers who need to track their sets and sendoffs and monitor their desired pace without being distracted from their stroke technique and rhythm.
The Underwater Pace Clock can be placed on the deck or on the bottom of the pool, giving swimmers a clear visual readout to keep them constantly aware of their performance without the need for any awkward lifting of the head, officials say.
The device comes with a detachable infrared pole measuring three feet in length, which is used to transmit signals to the base of the unit. Infrared technology is used to support the lap counting function of the clock, according to the company. Swimmers and their coaches can use the Underwater Pace Clock for tracking longer distances in practice and meet settings. Buttons on the unit, which are easily accessible, permit the user to reset and switch between various modes. The Underwater Pace Clock is fully powered by a standard 9-volt battery without any wires. Its internal battery offers 240 hours of continuous, wireless operation, company officials say.
“The Underwater Pace Clock allows swimmers to reach that potential they never knew, or even believed, existed,” Mix said.
Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
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