Heart rate monitors have long since stopped being mere watches, complete with chest straps that you have to strap yourself into before heading down to the gym. They’re increasingly turning up in activity trackers, watches minus the chest strap and smartphones with accompanying apps and hardware.
Now a Canadian company are launching a heart rate monitor shirt. Due for release at the back end of 2013, the OMsignal heart rate monitor compression shirt could be set to radically change the industry.
The pet hate for many gym-goers lies in the heart rate monitor strap. However, all of the solutions that have worked to replace the strap have lacked accuracy.
A shirt that measures your vital stats has the opportunity to work much better. It can introduce more touch points with the body, collecting more data. All gym-goers have to wear workout hear anyway, so a special shirt is no hardship. It can be worn outside of the gym too, opening up the opportunity to measure your stats all day. Al of this is before we touch on what it could do in the health industry.
The OMsignal heart rate shirt features smart technology, meaning it becomes another device in our connected world. The data is collected all day, including breathing levels and movement as well as your heart rate. The data is transferred on to an accompanying smartphone app, allowing the user to get instant feedback as they train or alternatively to collect the data at the end if their workout or the end of their day. The shirt is also able to send out an alert if it discovers an irregular rhythm or other danger signs, and the smart tech can automatically fire off an alert to emergency services, with accurate GPS data.
It will be interesting to see if the market moves in this direction. OMsignal claim their major USP comes in the way they weave sensors into the shirt, and the positioning of these sensors for the optimal collection of data.
We fail to see anything too radical in that, and I expect that we will see a wealth of copycats launching similar products on the back of this. We have already seen start-ups playing about with sensors in socks, and no doubt such tests will continue, especially in light of the vibrancy around the whole fit-tech market at the moment.
The OMsignal shirts are easily washed, with a removable box that contains the electronics. Therefore, it should be possible to purchase many shirts with just one or two sensors. This should mean that the heart rate monitor shirt becomes as affordable as any other heart rate monitor.
This shirt is said to be launching later this year. The company are seeking developers who want to work on apps for the OMsignal shirt. We will contact the company to seek a review product as soon as possible.