The conditioning continues. Ralph Lauren has began to sell a “second skin” smart shirt which features sensors that capture your heart rate, breathing depth, calories burned, and other biometrics. All of this data is sent to your phone and is used to help you develop “customized” workouts. But, is there something more here?
As all sorts of “enhancing” items that we wear or are to have implanted – from sensors, to chips, to wearable tach – have flooded the market recently. Do you think this new shirt is just another step to get us used to becoming half human/half machine?
Ralph Lauren has announced that its smart shirts will finally be released to the public — that is, the public that can afford to spend $295 for a gym shirt.
The shirt was shown off at a preview event in New York City, revealing the price and availability for its long-awaited PoloTech shirt, which was made in partnership with OmSignal.
The PoloTech shirt itself is being touted as a “second-skin” and features silver fibers that are woven into the fabric. A small black box filled with sensors is snapped into the shirt close to the rib cage, tracking things like steps taken, calories burned, breathing depth and heart rate.
This information is then displayed using the connected Ralph Lauren smartphone app. The app is only available on iOS for now, and it is not able to integrate with any other fitness apps on the market.
The goal of the shirt is essentially to show users an analysis of their workouts, after which the app will offer suggestions on their workout. This takes things a step further than other apps. There are plenty on the market that can track a user’s movement, but not so many that can tell a user how to improve or what to do with that information.
Ralph Lauren first showed off the shirt at the U.S. open tennis tournament, with ball boys being used to test out the technology. Since then, however, we have seen a number of other similar shirts pop up, including those that are able to measure things like muscle effort. OmSignal also sells shirts of its own. Both Ralph Lauren and OmSignal only sell shirts for men at this time, but David Lauren, executive vice president for advertising, marketing and communications at Ralph Lauren, has said that shirts for women are in the works and that we should expect to see them in the near future.