Michael Phelps’ sensational achievements in the pool in the 2008 Beijing Olympics must have inspired many young swimmers and potential world champions. His subsequent downfall and drug scandal may be disappointing but his legend status in the pool is already carved in stone. While technology has always been an important tool in the steady climb to success of any sportsman, the swimmer has been marginally disadvantaged by less superior electronic gadgets due to the challenges posed by wet conditions of the sport. Aqua Pulse, a waterproof heart monitor released by a Californian company, Finis, is set to level the playing field.

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An electronic device to monitor heart rate is important in training because it allows the sportsman to monitor physical conditions and ensures that the level or intensity of training is optimal. This gadget works by communicating or transferring high-fidelity sound via the temple bone to the inner ear. As sound cannot transmit through air in water, bone conduction is the ideal solution.

Aqua Pulse can be secured to a goggle strap and it is equipped with an infrared sensor that detects heart rates by measuring light pulses due to capillary blood flow in the skin. The heart rate is then calculated by a computer and the information is communicated audibly through the bones for swimmers to be aware of their heartbeat as they slice through water.

The Aqua Pulse is priced at $139.99 and will be available via the Finis Web site in the middle of the year.

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