Swimmers in the loop: Sensing moving water masses for an auditory biofeedback system

Auditory biofeedback systems in the field of sports are increasingly adopted to provide an online guidance to the people performing actions. This paper concentrates on swimming and on producing auditory feedback intended to enhance the perception of the interaction between a swimmer’s body and the surrounding water masses while swimming. The information is related to the concept of `feel-for-water’, that is a key factor to produce an effective propulsion, through a correct perception of the boundary effects of body and water.

The presented system is composed of pressure sensors, plastic tubes ending between the swimmer’s hand fingers on the dorsal and palmar side, a microcontroller reading the sensors and sending data to a PC for further processing producing the auditory feedback through interactive sonification. We focus on the system setup and present a simple parameter-mapping sonification design as an example, along with possible extensions of the system and other sonification designs. Finally, we present video and audio examples of the system.