The iWatch may be set to mark Apple’s debut into health and fitness tracking, but one company is taking the concept of wearables a step further.
The forthcoming $199 OMsignal shirt promises to be the gym wear of the future — featuring a ton of health sensors sewn into its fabric, which constantly monitor the condition of the wearer. Sensors are capable of tracking heart rate, breathing rate, breathing volume, movement (including steps and cadence), movement intensity, heart rate variability, and calories burned.
“The data is sent via Bluetooth to a specially developed iPhone app, which lets you see all of it in real time,” says Dr. Jesse Slade Shantz, the firm’s Chief Medical Officer. “Your iPhone beams the data up to the cloud, and algorithms we’ve developed then push back various metrics — showing you information about your breathing during workouts, and information like that.”
The suit’s not just for use during workouts, however. OMsignal is also promising that it can do a good job of tracking your fitness data at the office — with four different shirt styles (including under-shirt, sleeveless shirt, casual T-shirt and long-sleeved shirt) to suit every occasion.
“The current medical system is crazy when you think about the technology that’s available to us now,” Dr. Slade Shantz tells us. “We have GPS, we have accelerometers, we have all these ways of tracking biometrics — with the tools we have we can really start to democratize healthcare in a way that empowers patients. We want to turn the current sick-care system into a healthcare one.”
On the subject of whether Apple has shown any interest in the company or its wearables, the good doctor plays coy.
“We’ve definitely had interest from both tech companies and also fashion companies,” he says. “I can’t talk about Apple, or give you any specifics though.”
As for the immediate future? “The shirt is available for pre-order now, with delivery coming later this summer,” he says. “The textile part of the shirt is done, but we’re just perfecting the hardware. We want to make sure the people who trust us with their pre-orders get an experience which is every bit as good as they hope.”