Ralph Lauren clothing has been helping people look slick since 1967, but in the future it may also help you to keep fit. The company has announced a new Polo Tech shirt that monitors biological and physiological information of its wearer. It will be tested out at this year's US Open.
Lots of people use mobile apps to help track and improve their fitness, but fewer will be familiar the concept of T-shirts that can do the same. The Hexoskin shirt is one such garment that analyzes movement, breathing and heart activity. Smart T-shirts have also been developed to monitor people's health remotely.
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Ralph Lauren says the Polo Tech tracks biometrics and psychometrics to provide insights into the wearer's sporting performance and to help improve future performance. It features an electrocardiogram, a breathing sensor, a gyroscope and an accelerometer. Proprietary algorithms are said to help interpret the data collected, which includes stress levels, energy output, heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, breathing depth, activity intensity, steps and calories burned.
The shirt, designed in partnership with tech clothing manufacturer OMsignal, has sensors knitted into it. These use Bluetooth to send the data that they capture to a "black box," which then relays it into the cloud where the algorithms are applied. The data can then be accessed by the user through an accompanying mobile app, which can be used to provide real-time training feedback.
The Polo Tech is of the elasticated skin-hugging kind of top, which are known as compression shirts. The pressure exerted by compression shirts is said to stimulate blood flow and help muscle recovery.
Number one US Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles player Marcos Giron will wear the Polo Tech during his practice sessions at this year's US Open. Some ball boys will also wear it during the tournament.
The video below provides an introduction to the Polo Tech shirt.
Source: Ralph Lauren