Nice wearable technology! But is it actually wearable?

The SenSoria smart t-shirt from Heapsylon

The SenSoria smart t-shirt from Heapsylon monitors heart-rate without an obtrusive strap (Photo: PR)

It might be called wearable technology, but is it actually wearable?

Heart-rate sensors like the range made by Polar are popular among athletes, since they provide beat-by-beat pulse tracking, which helps ensure optimum best performance, especially in endurance sports such as marathon running, where some energy needs to be held in reserve.

However, there is a trade-off, since heart-rate sensors are also universally recognized as being uncomfortable to wear. This is the price to pay for real-time quantifiable self analytics.

This is the challenge that Redmond, WA-based start-up Sensoria Fitness is addressing with its smart t-shirt and fitness smart bra, both of which measure heart-rate without the discomfort of a chest strap. Although the products today are priced at $149 each, company founder Davide Vigano told WTW that he expects the prices to fall as the technology goes more mainstream. Meanwhile, it’s a small price premium for a huge improvement in comfort.

What’s more, the t-shirt actually looks like a workout vest that men would feel comfortable wearing in public. Which is more than can be said about the clothing that STATSports has developed for the soccer field, fitting out players with what can only be described as a “man bra” (thanks to Sonny Vu for that).

The man bra

The man bra

The garment is packed with technology and is collecting valuable data, but hardly likely to go viral among style-conscious joggers.

Although not yet allowed in league matches, many top soccer clubs are investing heavily into STATsports’ wearable technology to track players’ performance during training and friendly matches.

The UK’s Daily Mail helpfully explains: “Various parameters are measured and calculated 100 times per second, meaning almost a quarter of a million numbers every minute can be analysed from a team of 11 football players. Frankly ludicrous figures you may associate more with space travel.”

It’s actually far more data than that.

/WTW

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