Why wearable tech won’t let you ignore it

Sensoria smart socks, sold out at $199

Wearable tech will not be ignored: That’s the title of a presentation that WTW founder Simon Jones will be giving tomorrow (Wednesday March 25) to a networking group in Munich, Germany.

Just like the mobile phone before it, wearables are here to stay – although they’re following a much more varied adoption curve.

You know something has gone mainstream when it’s pilloried by the mainstream media – and that’s what’s happened to the craze for smart wristbands. No doubt general awareness of wearables will reach new heights next month, when the Apple Watch finally goes on sale.

However, there is a great deal more to wearable technology, and in the main it is becoming invisible.

Hexoskin shirts measure the body's vital signs in real time (image: PR)

Hexoskin shirts measure the body’s vital signs in real time (image: PR)

Remember those uncomfortable chest straps with a heart rate monitor attached?

They have been replaced by smart shirts like the one from Hexoskin, which started by raising $165,000 on crowd-funding platform Indiegogo.

Recognized by research firm Gartner as a “cool vendor”, Hexoskin has been expanding its range of biometric shirts which measure heart rate and heart rate variability, breathing rate and volume, overall activity, and even sleep.

That’s a lot of data … and to help its users – and developers – to make the most of it, Hexoskin recently announced a partnership with VivoSense, a comprehensive physiological data analysis software suite available for health research and clinical studies.

Smart sensors are being embedded into fabrics that are not only breathable but also intelligent, able to monitor the body’s vital signs in extreme sports.

Zephyr Technology has a long list of professional sports teams – in the NHL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NASCAR and more – that are using its training system to help improve athletes’ performance. Zephyr is also working with NASA and the US Naval Warfare Special Command to develop wearables for extreme environments.

Sensoria smart socks, sold out at $199

Sensoria smart socks, currently sold out at $199 (image: PR)

Sensoria, another wearable success story, has built its technology into a sock that helps joggers to identify and assess harmful running styles – call this actionable analytics.

This is all done by textile pressure sensors that monitor foot fall, continuously, while someone runs. Paired with a smartphone, a runner can get real-time data and suggestions for improving their running style.

The Sensoria socks are washable – and despite the price tag of US $199, are currently out of stock, since consumer demand has eclipsed supply.

If you’re in Munich and would like to join the event, you can register online.



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