In 1960, blind swimming became a Paralympic sport. Fifty-six years later, the primary method coaches use to alert swimmers of the end of a lane has remained totally unchanged: they tap them on the head or back with a pole. Now Samsung is stepping in with Blind Cap, an invention that aims to change the way Paralympic swimmers compete entirely.
Created in collaboration with Cheil Spain and the Spanish Paralympic Committee, the device looks just like a normal swim cap, but contains a small chip that vibrates when a swimmer's coach sends a signal through a smartwatch or smartphone. It also collects data on an athlete's workout, maintaining the crucial coach-swimmer communication line while removing the obvious tediousness associated with reaching over the edge of a pool to tap someone using a pole.
"[Blind Cap is] much more than a wearable, it serves as a standard of innovation and we are convinced that it will soon be a reality in the Paralympic Games," said Cheil Spain's Creative Director Breno Cotta. "It is a winning lap for Paralympic swimming."
The invention is currently only available for professional athletes, but if its technology is as promising as it sounds, the world could soon see an uptick in aspiring blind swimmers.
"We believe mobile is central to how brands connect with consumers today," said Cheil Worldwide's global chief creative officer Malcolm Poynton. "As a network, we're excited to continue leading the way, with Blind Cap being yet another example of how we're innovating with Samsung's mobile technologies to help improve everyday life."