Evolution of Swimming Goggles

14th Century

Persian pearl divers utilize goggles made from polished tortoise shells, ingeniously designed to protect their eyes while diving for valuable pearls. These early goggles were rudimentary and primarily focused on basic eye protection without enhanced visibility or comfort features.

16th Century

The technology of goggles evolves in Mediterranean regions, particularly among Venetian coral divers who adopt the Persian practice, using tortoiseshell goggles. These goggles help divers see better underwater, significantly impacting the efficiency of their diving practices in coral and pearl collection.


Thomas Burgess, attempting to swim across the English Channel, adapts motorcycle goggles for his swim. These goggles were not originally intended for swimming; hence they were not watertight. Burgess's innovative use of these goggles marked a pivotal moment in the history of swimming, showcasing the potential benefits of goggles in long-distance open-water swimming.


Building on Burgess's idea, Gertrude Ederle uses motorcycle goggles sealed with paraffin wax to swim across the English Channel. Her modifications made the goggles more water-resistant, which significantly improved her visibility and eye protection during the swim. Ederle's success not only highlighted the functionality of goggles but also their potential to enhance performance in competitive swimming.


This year marks the commercialization of modern swimming goggles, designed specifically for pool use. These goggles feature new materials like polycarbonate plastic, offering better durability, clarity, and water resistance. The introduction of these specialized swimming goggles transforms the practice and professionalism of thesport, making goggles a common accessory for both competitive and recreational swimmers.


David Wilkie's use of homemade goggles in the 1970 Commonwealth Games demonstrated the competitive advantage provided by goggles. His success with goggles pushed the global swimming community to adopt goggles widely in professional competitions. By the end of the decade, goggles are an essential part of every competitive swimmer's kit, credited with improving both performance and comfort.


By this decade, goggles are universally available and have become a standard piece of swimming equipment. Advances in technology and manufacturing processes during this period made goggles more affordable and comfortable, with features like UV protection and anti-fog lenses enhancing their utility and appeal to a broad range of swimmers. Despite this, goggles remain uncomfortable and in a one-size-fits-all approach.


TheMagic5 revolutionizes the industry by introducing custom-fit technology. Using 3D scanning and printing techniques, goggles tailored to the individual facial contours and features of each swimmer are made readily available for swimmers of all skill levels, offering unprecedented comfort and efficiency. This innovation marks a significant leap in personalizing swimming gear to fit the unique needs of swimmers.


FORM introduces their smart swim goggles, marking a significant advancement in the integration of technology into swimwear. These goggles feature a heads-up display that allows swimmers to view real-time performance metrics such as stroke rate, distance, and pace directly in their field of vision. With these innovative features comes a hefty price tag, requiring a subscription for full functionality, making the average purchase ~$400 for functionality.

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