A t-shirt that can read vital signs? Now that’s wearable technology! OMsignal from Montreal has developed a t-shirt that can read vital signs, check how much calories you’ve burned and even see how stressed you are.
The shirt is connected to an application on the iPhone. The sensors in the shirt send information to the application and then wearers can check their information.
There are all sorts of new and upcoming companies, devoted to creating wearable technology. OMsignal is one of them. Their product is made from biometric textiles which is just starting to hit the market.
Like fitness bands, this product monitors the health of the user. No need for other accessories. the co-founder of OMsignal states: “Smart clothing is easy because it’s the only wearable medium you’ve already been wearing your whole life. In a decade, every piece of apparel you buy will have some sort of biofeedback sensors built in it.”
Obviously there are challenges all new technology must face. The starting price for the t-shirts are $80 which doesn’t seem too expensive but these shirts need a module which powers the shirt. These cost $120. Research manager for IDC research says: “The leap that you have to make from a prototype or small-lot sizes of these wearables to an affordable mass-market product is pretty significant. The price is going to have to come way down before it becomes a product for most consumers.” Although an exciting breakthrough, the t-shirts will probably be slow to take off in the market at first. But in a few years, things could change.
So how do these shirts work? The shirts use a conductive yarn that can transmit electrical signals. The sensors are so small you can’t even see or feel them. Although many of this type of ‘smart’clothing requires battery packs, there has been research undergoing, to see if smartphones can charge up the clothing, so to speak. This is an exciting and new idea where the possibilities are endless.
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