For me, lifeguarding in high school was easy money and great tanning. For Katie Williams, it was the inspiration for her stroke of genius.
Williams, an industrial design student at Brunel University in West London, designed swimming goggles that display lap count and time on the inside of the lenses. The idea for the "Inview" goggles was seeded back in high school while Williams was lifeguarding lap-swimmers who often stopped to watch the time clock or look at their wristwatch, she said in a university statement. "I was aware there was a gap in the market," she said.
The Inview goggles incorporate an electronic device, which houses a compass, on the back of the head strap. When the swimmer enters the pool, he or she presses a button that activates the device and signals to the compass the direction he or she will be traveling, the statement said.
Once a swimmer takes his or her first stroke, a tiny display inside a lens shows the total time spent swimming, the total number of laps completed and the time it took to swim the previous lap, according to the statement. Each time the swimmer makes a turn, the compass automatically detects that the coordinates have changed and registers the lap and time, the statement said.
And all I have to show from my lifeguarding years is the likelihood of getting skin cancer.