London, February 14 : Swimsuit manufacturer Speedo says that it has produced its fastest-ever costume.
The new swimsuit called 'The LZR Racer' is made by "welding" material together to give the effect of having no seams.
Speedo claims that the new design helps reduce drag, which slows swimmers as water passes along the surface of their skin or swimsuit. The company says that it reduces drag by five per cent more than its previous fastest suit.
The company's claims are based on the results of the technical tests involving more than 100 different fabrics and designs that space agency NASA recently conducted.
Australian and British Olympic swimmers are expected to don the costume at the Beijing Games. The swimsuit will make its debut in national swimming trials from next month. It is also expected to go on sale in May.
Allan Campbell, the head of the Central Scotland Institute of Sport, said that any technology with the potential to boost an athlete's performance would be seen as a boon.
He, however, added that it was yet to be ascertained how much further technology could assist sportspersons at the top of their game.
"I remember when these types of suits first came up - they certainly made people go faster, but there is the question of how far can they go. Athletes want anything that is going to give them that edge, so if it is legal and helps, the bottom line is athletes will go for it," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
"But anything new that comes out has to make sure it comes under existing regulations," he added.
Raleigh Gowrie, sports performance manager at Stirling University, said that the new suit attract a lot of attention from swimmers.
"Anything that gives someone any edge over their competitors within the boundaries of the sport would be carefully considered by athletes. History shows that some technological aspects have helped sport, but where does it end?" he said.
"Technology helps performance, but there is also a challenge in that you can change the nature of the sport, and can change the optimum level of skill required to be effective in a sport. Traditionally, swimmers tried to overcome this drag by shaving their bodies and wearing swimming caps - now they are using these suits," he added.