- Title: USA-SMARTSHIRT Ralph Lauren’s smart workout shirt doubles as a personal trainer
- Date: 21st August 2015
- Summary: APP ON iPHONE SHOWING BIOMETRICS
- Embargoed: 5th September 2015 13:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA869QKSGEM5TWPRVGNJU1AS8NR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ralph Lauren's signature piece is the "Polo" shirt. But the designer is hoping to one up what's become a men's fashion staple, with the PoloTech smartshirt.
"This is a very tight fitting shirt that is popular in gyms around the world. What we've done is threaded some silver fibers through the material like magic fibers, that pick up your thoracic cage's breathing, your heart rate, any kind of biometrics that is essential to understanding your basic health levels."
That's David Lauren, the head of advertising and marketing for the company and the designer's son.
He explains that the fashion forward design uses this little black box to collect and process information. It has five connectors and contains a 3D accelerometer that captures intensity of movement based on three g-force measurements.
The fabric and the fibers woven into the shirt then stream information directly to an iPhone, iWatch or iPod Touch.
While its team focused on creating a sleek, modern design, the fashion house partnered with OMSignal, a global leader in biometric technology, to help perfect the smartshirt.
Stephane Marceau, co-founder of OMSignal, is wearing the shirt under his suit and says having biometric data at your fingertips.
can change the way you exercise and impact your overall health.
"Right now my shirt is biostreaming my body onto my iPhone and into the cloud. My shirt is tracking core vitals, including my ECG, the electro signature of my heart. It's tracking my breathing rate, breathing regularity and things related to my movement intensity. And the shirt is the sensor. There's nothing added or attached to it, the shirt is really the sensor."
Once they got the style and data collection components down, the team created another unique element that makes this shirt more than just another cool design in its collection. As he puts it -- it actually "changes the value proposition of apparel."
"The third element is the adaptive training, which offers real time personalization. It's like having a trainer follow you everywhere and read you from the inside and adjust the workout based on how your biology reacts to the exercise routine."
That's where celebrity trainer Chris Ryan comes in. The fitness expert devised several workouts that correspond with the biometric information transmitted through the shirt.
He says he wanted the iPhone app to act as a personal trainer and give people the same kind of guidance that he would if he was working one-on-one with a client.
"The three workouts, the agility, the strength, and the cardio components vary in range of exercises for each exercise from 30 seconds to a minute, with some sort of recovery of about 45 seconds while the next exercise is explained. What's cool about this is that it predicts your next exercise based on your biometric data... So there's 10 thousand plus workout combinations that can be predicted."
That's a lot of moves, but Chris says he specifically wanted to help men achieve a balanced look by working to broaden shoulders, as well as open the hips for a nice backside.
The shirt will go on sale at the U.S. Open tennis tournament later this month and will also be sold online for $295 (USD).
Lauren says that's a lot of value rolled up into one shirt. And while it's taken two years to get the design right, it's only the start of Ralph Lauren's fashion-technology fusion.
"Ultimately, we're going to apply this kind of technology to all kinds of clothing that we're creating. Whether it's a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, or a jacket or a dress. Right now the technology is something that's new enough that we think the most accessible approach in is through sports. But we'll ultimately make it part of all the clothes we make and part of the lifestyle in which you live."
Now, that would be a real lifestyle revolution. Making your fashion work for you, literally.
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