Deja Vu? You are not mistaken, this is indeed the second time we’ve looked at the FORM Smart Swim Goggles in a short period of time.
That wasn’t our plan when Karen Parnell recently reviewed both the FINIS and FORM smart goggle offerings on the market for us recently in something of a swim tech testing blitz.
What we didn’t know at the time, was that FORM was about to release (which they did today, 24th August), a new update to their product, a first-of-its-kind Workouts function powered by the FORM Smart Swim Goggles, using an augmented reality display.
Would we – subject to embargo – like to give this new update a try ahead of its release they asked? And so Karen has been taking a(nother) look at what’s new, so we could tell you more about it, from first-hand experience.
New FORM WoW!
I tested the original FORM smart goggles and App a few weeks ago and when I was asked to test them again, I was a bit confused… but WoW!
Wow is two-fold as the new features are amazing and really useful, but WoW can also stand for Workout of the Week.
I was really impressed when I tried them before as they could be use in open water, pools, spa pools and even tethered swimming but now they have added Swim Workouts. The FORM Smart Swim Goggles will now guide you through immersive Workouts via an in-goggle display.
With a FORM membership, you now have access to an ever-expanding library of guided workouts, in addition to seeing real-time performance swim metrics (like split times, distance, stroke rate, pace per 100, and calories) while you swim in the pool.
The goggles look the same as before and come in the same practical case, but the Polar Sense holder and charge cable now come in cardboard packaging and not plastic so more environmentally friendly.
FORM new feature video:
The New FORM App
I was given access to their Beta App on my Android phone (It was also available as a beta Apple App) and once installed I paired with my goggles, and it updated them with a new menu option “Workouts”.
The Workout Categories are Endurance, Speed, Technique, Pace, Recovery and Test Set. You can choose your distance Short (up to 1500), Medium (1500 to 3000) and Long (3000+). You can also choose intensity low, medium and high.
Select workouts you want to do on the App and sync with your goggles and they appear in the Workouts section on the goggles. You can load up to five workouts to your goggles and once completed save your swim stats to the App. It’s easy to swap in other workouts for your next session.
There are videos in the App that show the drills and descriptions for each session so you can revise them before your swim and understand why you are doing them and how.
Above: Workouts Main Screen, My Saved Workouts an All Workouts screens in the App
You can decide which swimming session you would like to complete visually looking at the workout profile and colours. Blue shows Freestyle stroke, orange breaststroke, purple a drill set and pink choice. The line width denotes distance and height the intensity. If you have a training plan you can find a suitable session that meets your plan objectives.
Workout details, swim technique videos and example bases endurance session App screen
Once in the pool, you can select your workout from the five you have uploaded and select pool length e.g. 25m and let the in-goggle display tell you how far to swim, how long to rest, what equipment to use (if required) and more. You will also be able to view your real-time metrics and a progress bar that will update you through the workout.
After your workout, you can save your swim and check out and analyse your swim data in the FORM Swim App. With a variety of workouts and more being added regularly, there’s something for every swimmer.
My Experience with the Workouts
During the sessions I swam the screen was a bit bright and it was good to find out I could change the brightness and even turn off screen mid swim. I also found that if the rest intervals felt too long for me, I simply started swimming to start the next section. The goggles detected the end of length turn arounds well. I found the on-screen text to be motivational e.g. “Last length! Freestyle Fast!” and enabled me to concentrate on the session rather than keep checking a written session plan poolside. This did make my session more relaxed, and I was able to focus on my technique and feel for the water
If you have a compatible Garmin or Apple watch you can choose to track your swim distances on these instead of on the googles. The Workouts are currently all Pool based only but I’m sure they will add sessions for other swimming environments in the future.
Pricing and Membership
You can buy the FORM goggles direct from FORM or from Amazon for £178.80 or €203.94.
As of August 24th 2021, FORM Smart Swim Goggles users can take advantage of a 30-day free trial to try the new Workouts features. FORM swimmers can choose either a monthly membership for $19.99 USD or an annual membership for $179.99 USD ($14.99/month) purchasable through the FORM Swim App. If you decide you do not wish to pay for a membership beyond the free trial period, you will need to cancel your membership within the trial period. All FORM swimmers will be able to access real-time performance swim metrics on their FORM goggles with or without a membership.
Karen Parnell is British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 3 High Performing Coach and Tutor, Nivel 3 Técnicos Federados FATRI España and an ASA Open Water Swimming Coach. She is also a qualified NASM Personal Trainer and IRONMAN® Certified Coach as well as being a Stryd running with power coach.
Karen is based near Malaga in Southern Spain where she runs ChiliTri coaching and camps.