We have covered Sensoria before, for their smart socks that have sensors woven directly into the fabric. The company now has taken the next step and created smart garments. These initial products are targeted towards the fitness market, but they already have some significant health functions built in, and could point the way toward more connected health products in the future.
The new sportswear has electrodes woven into the material, so that you do not need to wear a separate (and often uncomfortable) chest strap when you exercise. Two metal snaps provide points where you attach the small rechargeable controller. This relies on a wireless Bluetooth connection to transmit data to a smartphone or other device. Remove the controller, and the garment is ready for machine washing. From a health perspective, however, the news is that this system includes a “Heart Sentinal” feature. This is software that is designed to detect heart rate irregularities and warn the user before a problem might incapacitate them. If the user cannot respond to the alert, GPS data can be used to send the user’s location to an emergency contact. According to Sensoria, 2,400 people in the U.S. die of Sudden Cardiac Arrest each year while exercising. This system can give advanced warning of problems and potentially save lives.
It is this monitoring that can have broader applications, both in clinical and everyday settings. Wearing a shirt can be far more convenient than having to put on some extra wearable device, which could bring the benefits to others besides fitness enthusiasts.