Swimmers are now able to view real-time GPS performance metrics and Heart Rate in open water through free firmware update
See InDepth’s original coverage of FORM: “Heads Up Swimmers and Divers Who Swim.“
Vancouver, BC, July 29—
FORM, the direct-to-consumer sports technology company behind the FORM Smart Swim Goggles, today announced the launch of a free firmware update which enables swimmers to access open water features by connecting the FORM goggles to their compatible Garmin® smartwatch or Apple Watch. Available immediately, the update gives swimmers the ability to view GPS performance metrics like distance, pace, heart rate, elapsed time, and more, in real-time while swimming outdoors.
“We’ve always envisioned the FORM goggles to be used in both the pool and open water, so this launch really completes the experience we’ve been looking to provide to swimmers,” said FORM founder and CEO Dan Eisenhardt. “We’re excited to be able to launch this at the peak of summer as more swimmers take advantage of their local lakes and beaches. Now, for the first time ever, swimmers can view their performance metrics throughout their entire open water swim.”
The FORM goggles launched in August of 2019, and have provided the 240 million active pool swimmers across the world with the option to view performance metrics in real-time, as they swim. Now, swimmers can enjoy the same benefits outside through GPS open water features. Open water features can be accessed through a firmware update on the goggles, and by downloading the FORM data field for compatible Garmin smartwatches, or downloading the FORM Swim App for applicable Apple Watches. Users can then connect the FORM goggles with their preferred smartwatch to access real-time metrics while swimming outdoors.
“The introduction of the FORM goggles has been a game-changer for swimmers, and now with GPS and heart rate tracking available in open water, the goggles will fundamentally change the way we train outdoors,” said professional triathlete and Ironman Champion Lionel Sanders. “Through the new open water features, swimmers are able to see the metrics that matter most, whether understanding their pacing in real-time, utilizing heart rate data to gauge effort and track efficiency and see distance so you can add structure while swimming in lakes and the ocean. This is a huge leap forward for the sport of open water swimming.”
GPS-connected open water metrics are now available on the FORM goggles via compatible smartwatches that include the Garmin Forerunner® 945, fēnix® 6 Pro and fēnix 5 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 5, 4 and 3. Today, FORM has also released “Goggles Only” open water features, independent of connecting to a compatible smartwatch, which enable a swimmer to see elapsed time, stroke rate, and more in real-time while swimming in open water.
FORM goggles ship globally and are available at formswim.com and on Amazon in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Australia and Japan. The FORM Swim App is available as a free download from the App Store and from Google Play™.
For more information visit: formswim.com/openwater
Founded in 2016 in Vancouver, Canada, FORM is a sports technology company with a simple mission: to break down the barriers between what swimming is and what it could be. The company’s founder and CEO, Dan Eisenhardt, swam competitively for 14 years before starting his career as a sports technology entrepreneur. His previous company, Recon Instruments, was founded in 2008, introduced the world’s first smart eyewear for sports in 2010, and was acquired by Intel Corporation in 2015. At FORM, Dan is joined by a team of industry veterans with decades of combined expertise in sports-eyewear design, activity-tracking algorithms, and augmented-reality optics.
Remembering Bret Gilliam
by John Bantin. Photos courtesy of Bret Gilliam unless noted.
Bret Gilliam (1951-2023) was one of the true pioneers of scuba diving. He worked for the U.S. Navy before moving to St. Croix and becoming a dive shop owner. In the Caribbean, he later ran liveaboard dive boats, including the 550-foot Ocean Quest, the largest such vessel ever dedicated to diving. He started Fathoms magazine with Fred Garth, to which he brought both his writing and underwater photography skills. He ran Uwatec in the USA before it was bought by Scubapro. In 1972, he created a consulting company, Ocean Tech and, over the years, he appeared as a diving and maritime litigation consultant and expert witness, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in almost equal numbers. He set the record for the deepest dive on air (475 feet in 1993) and founded the technical diving training agency TDI. A frequent contributor to Undercurrent, he will be sorely missed. If you ever met Bret, well, you know he was larger than life.
When I first met Bret, I disliked him intensely. My British friend Rob Palmer, a self-effacing gentleman, had invited me to the Bahamas for the launch of the Draeger semi-closed circuit rebreather, and I found myself in the company of a group of American loud-mouthed technical diving pioneers, each competing with the other to hold the floor, with Bret’s booming voice dominating. Bret could be a bit of a bully, and I noticed he would pick away at any perceived weakness of character or physique.
It was later, at the TDI (Middle East) conference, when Rob Palmer, my roommate, went missing, having been last seen at 400 feet in the Red Sea and still descending, that Bret and I bonded in our mutual grief and a shared total lack of understanding as to why it had happened.
When we boarded the charter flight back to the UK, Bret dryly observed that he usually traveled in business class. I opined that I’d be happy if I didn’t have to sit next to a fat bastard. It was at that point Bret realized he’d met a soulmate.
Before I visited him at his home in Maine for the first time, he sent me over eighty photographs of his properties. I retorted I was coming to see him, and I didn’t really need the realty sales pitch. To his dismay, I turned up with my wife and two young children. He discovered, to his delight, that none of my family would take any shit either, and they hit it off quite well. My view is that if you can give it, you’ve gotta be able to take it, too. Bret had a similar philosophy.
Meeting him by chance, diving in PNG, for example, bystanders were amazed at the way we insulted each other by way of greeting. In spite of that, Bret was a stalwart and loyal friend who was quick to insert himself into any confrontation his friends found themselves in. His technical witness work in litigation cases and extensive knowledge of diving meant that opposing lawyers competed to get him into their camp. As one judge was heard to say, “I know Mr Gilliam. He’s never started a fight but I’ve seen him win a few.”
Bret was generous to a fault. Never one to shy away from picking up the tab, he once invited me to join him on an all expenses paid (by him) musical pub crawl in Ireland. We found ourselves on a tour bus with a number of ready victims from America. We laughed all the way. More recently, he invited me to do the same thing again and to join him and friends on a trip to the Grand Tetons. Alas, I was not able to make it. As always, all expenses were covered. He used to regularly invite a great gathering of notables (and me) to dinner while at the DEMA show, all on him.
Because I was tall, thin, and English, and in those earlier days wore my hair in a ponytail, he likened me to Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. He even had a framed photo on his wall of the drummer and some people questioned why he displayed a photo of me. I always signed my emails to him, ‘Mick’.
If you stayed in his home, you were careful not to over-do the cookies and you made sure to replace the drip cup under the coffee machine.
John Bantin was an advertising photographer and television commercials director during the ’70s and ’80s. He learned to dive in 1979, and in 1992 made it his career. He was technical editor for Diver Magazine, Britain’s most popular diving magazine for 25 years until he retired but then became senior editor at Undercurrent.org.