Swedish Firm Creating New Automatic Flipturn Aid for Visually Impaired Swimmers

A new program at the Swedish Sports Federation’s development center (Boson), is in creation to help visually impaired swimmers. Daniele Cardinale, test and training advisor at Boson, leads development on an invention to use sensors in the pool to make the swimmers turns smoother without a tapper.

Tappers are a crucial aid to a visually impaired swimmer. A personal assistant uses a pole with a soft-tipped end to tap the swimmer. The device alerts a swimmer that the wall is in coming and should prepare to turn, along with notifying them of the wall for the finish.

The product and movement goes by the name Breaking Swimming Barriers. Particularly, the goal is to create increased independence and reduce the cost of leisurely activities for visually impaired swimmers.

“More people should be able to have meaningful active leisure time and better health as their opportunities for independent movement increase,” says Cardinale.

The project is in support with two popular universities in Sweden, KTH and GIH Innovation. They are in collaboration with Deputy Jonas Willén from KTH Health Informatics and Logistics.

They hope to have all the training adapted to swimmers of any impairment and ability by the year 2025 according to Mikael Jansson, the Confederation Manager of Swedish Swimming.  The community is excited about the Breaking Swimming Barriers goal.

“We need to work on finding ways to include para athletes,” says Jansson.

The first prototype is scheduled to be tested in 2020. 

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