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Company Creates Biometric Shirts that Measure Heart Rate

Update Date: May 09, 2014 04:08 PM EDT
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Forget wristbands! People can now get their heart rate measurements from gym clothes. The Montreal-based startup company, OMsignal, has created biometric shirts for men and women that promise to change how people work out in the future.

"Textiles are the hardware -- organic hardware. It's technology that helps you connect with yourself to improve yourself and your performance," OMsignal co-founder and CEO Stéphane Marceau stated according to FOX Business. "You can see [from the biometric data] if it's a good day to push yourself at the gym...it's geared to performance, fitness, and self-mastery."

According to the company, these shirts are breathable, odor-resistant and water-wicking, which means that sweat and smells will no longer stick to the body or the clothing. In addition to these features, the shirt is equipped with technology that can track movement, count the number of breaths taken during a workout, count burned calories, amount of steps taken and record one's physiological stress-level. There is also a sports mode that aims to help people with personal goals and workout plans.

"The heart rate variability will tell you if you are stressed, it will suggest that you breathe slower and exhale more," Marceau explains, adding with a laugh, "I'm a Type-A person and need to exhale more often."

The shirts work by using a very special thread that can pick up information, which gets stored in the shirt's own data recorder. The recorder can be connected to Apple's iOS devices, such as the newer models of the iPhone, where the data will be transmitted via Bluetooth. The company states that they are currently working on connecting the data recorders, which are produced by Flextronics (FLEX), to Android devices. Since the thread must have contact with the skin, the shirts and undershirts are mostly form fitting. The shirts do not have to be worn in any specific way for it to work and all shirts are machine-washable.

"One day, you'll go the store and buy socks, underwear, bra, etc. You won't even ask, it will be a connected device. It helps you live a fitter, happier, healthier life. This is just the first step," Marceau stated according to USA Today.

OMsignal is currently taking orders for four different men shirt models that will be out for delivery during the summer. The women's line of shirts will be available in the fall. The company adds that these shirts are also fashion forward. The shirts cost anywhere from $99 to $199 and increase to $240 after the first month. Each additional black data boxes costs $140 but the app is free and downloadable from the Apple App Store. So far, there have been no demos yet.

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