A new wearable suit called the Antelope uses muscle-targeting electrodes to increase the intensity of your gym workouts and other types of exercise. Wearable Life Science, the German startup behind the suit, says 20 minutes of exercise using the Antelope could be as effective and beneficial as three hours of activity without it.
That's a bold claim to make but the Wearable Life Science pitch is an impressive one. Rather than simply recording and reporting fitness-related data, as is the case with many current wearables, the Antelope actually does something with the gathered information. The suit focuses on repeatedly stimulating different muscles depending on the type and intensity of your exercise. These pulses mimic prompts given by the brain to flex the muscles.
The smart garments are based around the same kind of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology that's extensively used in physiotherapy to prod muscles into action. Usain Bolt is among the athletes known to have used EMS clothing in the past and the Antelope suit isn't the first wearable to use this approach, so it's a technology that's gaining momentum.
The Antelope is thin, light and wire-free and shouldn't interfere with any kind of exercise, whether that's a boxing session in the gym or several miles of cycling. It's that portability that really makes the Antelope series of smart clothing stand out. Because everything is included in your clothing, you can take it anywhere you go, with no cumbersome dongles or wires to worry about.
A water-resistant Antelope Booster unit paired to an iOS/Android smartphone running a companion app via Bluetooth is used to control the impulses and adjust the settings during a workout. It's built-in rechargeable battery is reported sufficient to support up to 4 hours of exercising. The app, which will be available to Blackberry and Windows Phone users in the near future, also provides feedback on workouts and enables users to set their fitness goals as required.
Wearable Life Science has just won an award at an international sports business exhibition in Munich, but it's still early days for the Antelope. A Kickstarter campaign is about to get underway to bring the prototype to the production stage, which should provide more details. As of writing, pricing for the Antelope suit has not been revealed.
You can view the Antelope launch video below.
Source: Wearable Life Science