Ralph Lauren shirt to bring wearable technology to US Open Tennis courts
The US Open Tennis championships start today and we will be able to see the application of some wearable technology on court, reports the New York Times. The wearable tech will be built into Ralph Lauren branded polo shirts, not worn by the players at this time, but by the ball boys.
We won’t be seeing the ball boys making hands-free calls or touch-less texts or any other such distractions unfortunately… The technology is there simply to measure certain biometrics on court such as heart rate and breathing rate and stress levels. This is remotely measured by tech apparel developers and sports scientists which can be displayed on a smartphone app or computer screen.
Ralph Lauren have come to wearable tech in clothing from a slightly different angle than previous tech clothing makers and want to ensure that the clothing is “refined and comfortable” and not a regular piece of clothing with some circuitry tagged on – nothing clunky here. So the clothing might become popular because it stands alone as clothing not just as a carrier of your wearable sensors.
The new nylon form fitting T-shirts use conductive silver thread to weave their magic. The NYT says that it can transmit data from your body which includes but isn’t limited to heart rate and stress levels. The shirts were made in collaboration with a Canadian company called OM which has a history of producing biometric smartwear.
Ralph Lauren says that in the second half year we will see this silver thread tech leave the confines of sportswear and be included in some classic dress shirts too. That’s an interesting idea – perhaps to monitor employee stress… Back in sports it would be fascinating to see this biometric data in TV broadcasts in Tennis for example. The data could be updated under the scores for example.