What do you get when you combine country-club sports with high fashion and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity? Ralph Lauren's new "high-performance, fashion-forward Polo Tech shirt," making its debut at the US Open this week.
The polo comes in black, with Ralph's signature polo player logo in yellow, but more importantly has a conductive thread of sensors knitted into it that read biological and physiological information on the wearer. The technology, powered by Canadian company OMsignal, uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to collect data on the wearer's movement, direction, vitals and even stress level when a ball comes flying across the court.
This data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to the cloud, where it is stored and analyzed, producing information on the user's heartbeat, respiration, stress level, energy output and other activity-related stats, viewable from a mobile app.
Not Just a Fashion Statement
Marcos Giron shows off the new $200 Polo Tech, which uses sensors and a removable electronics pack to track all of an athlete's vitals... and a tight, stretchable knit to show off all of the athlete's six pack.
The $200 Polo Tech shirt will be worn by several ball boys during the US Open, as well as by singles player Marcos Giron, but OMsignal sees applications for helping everyday athletes understand their bodies and improve their performance. Check out the following video to see the shirt -- and Giron -- in action.
This falls into the category of M2M apps that can be both useful and pretty cool. It also proves the point that anything that can be connected, will be -- whether by cellular, Bluetooth or another connectivity standard. We're not just talking devices and smartwatches, but your own clothing.
It's not bulky, obvious or outrageously expensive, either; it's simply embedded and running in the background. That's the kind of thing that can get everyone, not just tech geeks or super athletes, excited about the Internet of Things.
Re: Skeptical I am with you MendyK...the news is rife with the headline that most consumers abandon wearables within 6 months etc (just search wearables abandoned). The quantified life is very appealing to some but to most it becomes overhead. A pedometer is an easy gadget to use and will get the average person moving. So will an alarm to wake you in the morning. So at the end of the day, it becomes an expensive T-shirt that many will launder once, fold once and then shelve. Others will adopt it.
kq4ym, User Rank: Light Sabre 8/26/2014 | 8:44:26 AM
Re: Skeptical I'll venture that the shirts, if combined with an app to lose weight might be a best seller to lots of us overweight and obese folks. As two-thirds of the world now fit that category, there's lots of folks out there who will at least try anything, even at $200 a pop.
mendyk, User Rank: Light Sabre 8/25/2014 | 4:09:22 PM
Re: fragmentation As someone who is now temporarily immersed in a "quantified lifestyle" program, I can say without hesitation that it's a depressing way to live. But to that point, there is a huge and important application for wearables -- in healthcare programs.
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.