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Ditch the Wristbands: For Next Generation of Wearables, Dumb Clothes Get Smart

Ditch the Wristbands: For Next Generation of Wearables, Dumb Clothes Get Smart

November 30, 2013 - As much excitement as there may be about wearable sensors, most of the activity tracking devices today are pretty lame.

That’s because they’re often restricted to a certain body part — usually the wrist — and have limited access to what’s going on with the rest of the body, like heart rate, specific muscle activation, calorie intake, or even what the legs are doing.

The fiery activated threads are a visualization; the Athos clothing won’t literally turn the wearer into a girl on fire.

The next step in wearables may be for devices to move beyond jewelry and onto the rest of our bodies. But what’s gained in accuracy may be dampened by higher prices and lower convenience. There’s also the simple challenge of the washing machine. After all, physical activity leads to sweating.


A company called Athos that launched this week had hoped to make garments with electronics embedded in them. When I met the company more than a year ago, the prototype had spiderwebs of wires glued onto it. Each shirt was going to cost something like $300. So the team revised its vision to make a wireless module that can be slipped into pockets on custom apparel so it lies flat on the skin.

That’s not cheap either. Preorders for delivery to U.S. customers in the summer of 2014 cost $99 for tops, $99 for bottoms, and $199 for the Athos Core Module.

“We are targeting individuals who are committed to fitness, ones who go out of their way to schedule in a workout, a ride or a yoga session,” said Athos founder DJ Jayalath, via email. “With regard to the price — it can be compared to being less than the price of five sessions with a personal trainer, or hundred dollars more than a Nike FuelBand and a pair of compression shorts.”

The Athos workout gear has sensors throughout that pick up on muscle exertion from the chest, shoulders, arms, back, quads, hamstrings and glutes, plus heart rate and breathing. The module insert transmits that info over Bluetooth to iPhones and iPads (no Android yet).



Sources and more information:

Backed With $3.5M From Social+Capital, Athos Is Creating High-Powered, Connected Workout Clothing That Tracks Your Muscle Output And More

University of Waterloo college students Dhananja Jayalath and Christopher Wiebe were frustrated by their workouts in the gym - they felt like there was no way to know whether they were actually working the right muscles when lifting weights. A personal trainer wasn't an option for these cash-strapped students, and as electrical engineers, both...


( via tinyurl.com )



1 comments

  • properREDeye#

    properREDeye wrote November 30, 2013 2:14:48 PM CET

    Not many people know enough about their bodies that they could make use of that level of detail about their performance, it would be useful in some non-exercise conditions, like muscle rehabilitation, high G flight, or perhaps on soldiers but i can see no practical use for this in the public domain. It would not be beneficial to your regular exerciser who would already know their body and where they need to concentrate, this is obviously some kind of sales pitch, most people wouldn't even know what to do with the data. It is not something every sports enthusiast should be looking for, it will be a big fat waste of time & money. Besides there are better versions of this tech with the ability to aid and enhance muscle contraction, granted it is still being developed but it looks promising and not redundant like this

 
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