Wearables are a thing. The Apple Watch is hitting the market, Pebble collects millions on Kickstarter and health insurances are rewarding people when wearing a fitness tracker. Especially activity trackers and health monitors are widely adopted already, measuring vital body functions. So what’s not to love? Most products have to be worn on the wrist which is convenient but compromises on the accuracy of ECG or in other words heart rate measurement. A chest strap solves this problem but is looking weird and often not very comfortable to wear especially beneath tight sports garment.
SmartLife, a Manchester, UK based company has developed smart fabrics using textile sensors embedded into sports gear like T-shirts and sports bras in order to measure vital body functions without the need to wear any straps while delivering accuracy comparable to hospital ECGs.
SmartLife offers garment for women and men
The clothes developed by SmartLife provide information about heart rate, calories burned, breathing rate and more in order to give the athlete a comprehensive overview about performance and fitness level. The information from the sensors is collected and processed in the “brain” a tiny piece of hardware which is attached to the garment weighing only 15 g. The brain is completely waterproof, is equipped with advanced DSP and an built in accelerometer and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy. Data is displayed on an iOS or Android app which enables you to also track speed and distance via GPS. Alternatively you can use the SmartLife gear without your smartphone as the brain obtains an integrated memory which can store the data from the sensors while working out. All fitness data is sent to the cloud to make it accessible easily and location independent. The garments are fully washable as soon as you have detached the little brain.
The comfortable, durable gear is perfect for almost any kind of work out
While this is great news for any athlete independently of the fitness level it is also great news for hospitals and people who work under high physical stress like fire fighters. The sensors deliver an accuracy which could make remote monitoring of patients a reality. Regarding fire fighters it would be possible to monitor their vital body functions during operations without any additional, heavy or bulky gear.
Wearables are a thing. Smart fabrics might be the next within this trend.
You can currently pre-order a SmartLife Starter pack including a compression shirt or bra, the brain and a charger for £149.99 here.