Instabeat swimming tracker review

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One thing fitness gadgets seem to do a lot of is stick to your wrist. Seriously, just look at all the different wearables you can get that track things like calories burned, distance travelled, heart rate that attach to your wrist. That’s all well and good, but if they don’t have a display on, you need to look at your phone to find the information. Not so with a product like Instabeat, which gives you a heads up display on your current heart rate while you swim.

Features

Just like many activity trackers, the Instabeat tracks things like your heart rate, calories burned, laps completed etc. However, where it differentiates itself, is how it tells you about this information. The Instabeat attaches to any pair of swimming goggles, fitting onto your temple, from where it tracks your information through the temporal artery. It then tells you how you’re doing through a colour coding system on the goggles themselves. Blue if you’re burning fat, green if you’re increasing general fitness and red if you’re improving your maximum speed and power.

For the other information, you do have to hook the Instabeat up with your laptop or PC, but from there you can track your progress over time and see if your’e meeting your fitness goals.

Instabeat’s headset is compatible with all types of goggles and head sizes and is of course, entirely waterproof.

Successfully funded on IndieGogo last year, Instabeat is set for release sometime this year.

Cost

At this moment in time, you can’t buy an Instabeat directly, but can pre-order it through the official site for $150. It’s expected to cost slightly more when finally released, but no end-game prices have been announced.

Drawbacks

Instabeat’s main issue is that it’s not out yet. It seems to have missed its initial launch window and the official blog, while regularly updated, doesn’t seem to be discussing an impending release, suggesting it could be a few more months before Instabeat is available for everyone. The problem there, is that the market is becoming more saturated every day with wearables. If Instabeat waits too much longer to get its product out into the wild, it could find its niche filled before it gets there.

It also seems to draw a lot of conclusions from heart rate alone, making you wonder if there’s an element of speculation in its reporting.

Bottom Line

The Instabeat has the potential to be a pretty interesting product when released. There certainly aren’t a lot of swimming activity monitors at the moment and many of the ones that are available don’t give you any information mid-workout. Its pricing also seems pretty fair. I’d like to see it maintain that cost when finally released.

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