Th e future is lycra, and it’s als o smart
Forget smartwatches and fitness bands and take a look at the relatively invisible future of fitnesswear
Most of the sports devices that are currently available either go on your wrist, or are attached directly to a piece of equipment, such as a
football or tennis racquet. However, there’s a lot of work going on with wearable technology, particularly with smart fabrics that are capable of monitoring your physical condition while you’re exercising.
The spandex experts at Under Armour actually launched a ‘smart shirt’, called the E39 about five years ago. It included sensors that allowed it to monitor your heart rate and breathing, although it didn’t really take off at the time. More recently Ralph Lauren has launched its new PoloTech Shirt ($295 – currently US only), which performs similar functions and communicates its readings to an app on your iPhone or Apple Watch.
There’s also a company called Myontec, which has developed smart shorts that can monitor muscular stress in your quads and hamstrings. These shorts are expensive – between € 400 and € 800 – but if they can help professional athletes perform better, or even prevent injury, then they could help bring wearable technology into the mainstream at last.
Would data captured by your clothing be enough to help you overcome the sense of lycra shame when exercising in public?