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Will Smart Clothing Amp Up Your Workout?
Source: | Author:nuanjiaren | Published time: 2018-06-02 | 4036 Views | Share:

When Eric Blue goes to the gym, he sports a wafer-thin shirt that tracks his every move.Blue's shirt contains tiny sensors woven into the fabric. They monitor his heart rate, the calories he burns and other metrics, like breathing rate. A companion app on his smartphone informs him about the intensity of his workouts.Blue, a Los Angeles entrepreneur, says regular use of the shirt has pushed him to "up his game" during exercise.This is no ordinary shirt. It represents the evolution of the wearable-tech trend from accessories, like watches and bands like Fitbits, to clothing.Blue, 38, was among the first people to buy a biometric shirt from the Montreal-based startup Hexoskin. Blue is a self-professed "fitness junkie" who goes to the gym at least five times each week, so he said the shirt is worth the $399 price tag. For Blue, it's far easier to throw on a Hexoskin shirt and go, rather than fiddle with a smartphone or chest strap.Blue isn't alone in embracing smart clothing."My old heart rate monitor is now sitting in the closet, gathering dust," he said. "It sounds very sci-fi right now, but in the future all of the personal data being collected by health and fitness sensors and smart watches will alternatively be readily available in our clothing."Athletes, astronauts and Cirque du Soleil performers have espoused the benefits of using Hexoskin and other smart clothing products. Smart shirts, athletic pants and socks started hitting stores last year.But medical experts say they hope patients with serious or chronic medical conditions also can benefit from smart clothing."These companies will hit fitness fans first," said Stephanie Tilenius, founder of Vida, a mobile app that matches sick patients with personal health coaches. "But I see huge potential for chronic care."It's still early for smart clothing, but the technology is evolving rapidly.