Superhero Swimsuit: Speedo Concept Has Built-In Exoskeleton, AI, and More

Wondering how far swimsuit technology can go? Get a glimpse with Speedo’s new AI-powered swimsuit.

Speedo just introduced “the most intelligent swimsuit of all time.” The Fastskin 4.0 Swimsuit (concept only) will be developed with 3D scanning, artificial intelligence prediction, and 3D bioengineered everything to map a suit so tuned to an athlete’s body that it performs like skin. Though, given all the tech, it may perform even better.

Also, it looks like a robot, so that’s cool.

The Fastskin 4.0 “focuses on innovations in printing customization and speed performance, with a built-in exoskeleton,” Speedo said. It designed the exoskeleton to extend and contract around an athlete’s joints “to harness their explosive power,” and help with a swimmer’s rotation, like when turning at the end of a lane or changing stroke.

According to the press release, the exoskeleton will be able to stretch and flex just like human muscles. And if that wasn’t enough, Speedo made the surface of the suit out of a material that it says can replicate the streamlining, drag, and textural properties of shark skin.

shark skin detailing on intelligent Speedo swimsuit

“Fastskin 4.0 isn’t just a tailored fit — it’s entirely customized to every muscle, micrometer, and color preference of the athlete,” Speedo claimed. “The suit also features customizable compression and adaptive buoyancy.”

Now onto the AI. The AI components in the suit — tiny microsensors printed into the fabric — will monitor vitals like oxygen saturation and hydration levels. And, they’ll even provide live coaching.

Once it has the vitals detected, the AI “coach” will provide live tips on technique, pace, and position to an athlete through haptics. Post-workout or race, swimmers can also access all that data to better plan their recovery.

Speedo Fastskin 4.0 Tech

Full body Speedo swimsuit with AI sensors

Speedo won’t manufacture the Fastskin 4.0 traditionally, either. It wants to grow its materials. Speedo thinks it can craft the Fastskin with bioengineered, genetically modified bacteria — and that 80% of the suit will biodegrade. But before that happens, the suit will have 80% recycled material construction.

The brand’s original Fastskin suit series launched in 2000. Speedo hopes to unveil the high-tech Fastskin 4.0 suits at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.