Computer software developed at Edinburgh could soon be helping Britain’s swimmers to win more medals.
The technology, which provides instant analysis of a swimmer’s glide technique following starts and turns, will be available early next year.
The GlideCoach software has been developed Prof Ross Sanders and Dr Roozbeh Naemi at the University’s Centre for Aquatics Research and Education (CARE).
“A system existed before,” said Dr Naemi, “but its usefulness was severely limited by the time required to conduct the analysis - two hours for each trial.”
Helping swimmers to glide more efficiently, with less ‘drag’, can trim vital fractions of a second from race times.
To analyse swimmers’ techniques, markers are placed on their joints and then they are videoed in action using underwater and poolside cameras.
The images are then fed into a computer and the alterations to technique suggested by the software are customised to suit each swimmer.
The software will show which young swimmers naturally move easily through the water, and therefore help to identify those who have a particular aptitude for the sport.
The project is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in collaboration with UK Sport.