OMsignal Heart Shirt With Woven Electronics

When the subject of "wearable electronics" comes up, are you inclined to question whether or not people will actually wear them? What about something you need to wear anyway - like a shirt?


(OMsignal heart shirt)

On Thursday, OMsignal unveiled four shirts that sense your heart and breathing levels via electrodes knitted into the fabric. These signals, plus details of your movements, are recorded by a gadget that snaps into a pocket on the side of the shirt; an accompanying iPhone app shows stats like calories burned and steps moved and aims to tell you things like how much energy you have left before you’ll feel spent.

OMsignal’s shirt and the accompanying gadget will cost $240; additional shirts are expected to cost about $100. The first shirts will ship to customers this summer. At first, they’ll be sold through the company’s website. But OMsignal cofounder and CEO Stéphane Marceau hopes other apparel makers will eventually add its technology to their own clothing.

OMsignal’s shirts are compression garments—already popular among some athletes and patients recovering from certain surgeries to help improve circulation—which Marceau says is helpful because it keeps the electrodes that are embedded in the fabric close to the skin. While the shirts are primarily aimed at athletes, the Montreal-based company envisions them being used for monitoring medical conditions and, potentially, in everyday life.

Fans of sf writer Rudy Rucker may congratulate him on predicting the OMsignal shirt:

Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…The heartshirt was an even dark blue, except for a few staticky red spots drifting about.

"It can feel your heartbeat … look..."
(Read more about Rudy Rucker's cool heartshirt from Wetware [1988])

From Technology Review

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/13/2014)

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