Athleisure, considered as one of the key trends in the fashion industry, has captured a major share in the apparel market today.
The trend is having a huge acceptance as it totally fits into the need of the changing lifestyle and requirements. In this article, we will explore how technology is taking the trend of athleisure to the next level and how athelisure is making the fitness freak’s job a lot easier with real time insights related to the workout progress.
Smart fitness bands are something that we all know; these wrist bands help us track the live details including heart rate, number of steps taken, calories burnt, etc. This concept is making our life a lot simpler as the technology is now integrated into the garments that we wear and the data is reflected on our mobile phone. The data recorded are mostly accurate and the wearer does not need to have an additional gadget while working out. The following are few such companies that are providing innovative solutions to athletes, enabling them to track their fitness.
The Sydney-based NYC born fashion tech company launched in 2013, incorporates fashion and technology to create products that can better the quality of life. The company in 2017 launched its first direct-to-consumer product Nadi X, a line of activated yoga apparel. These smart yoga pants use woven-in technology that helps the wearer practise yoga.
The yoga pants give the wearer a vibrational feedback providing gentle reminder of where to focus while performing. The technology is activated via a pulse that needs to be attached to the pants. The pulse is easily chargeable via a USB cable and gets connected to the smartphones via bluetooth.
The pulse clips into the pants behind the left knee, contains a 370 mAh battery, which activates the sensors and the motors woven into the pants. Users can easily set the vibration strength and the phone has to be placed near the yoga mat to stay connected.
Users need to download Nadi X iOS app, which remembers the pose and suggests future flows for one’s sessions. These leggings are easily washable; only the pulse needs to be detached from these pants, and can be easily put back once these are dry.
Launched in 2012, USA-based Athos wanted to invent in a system that could help it train better. It therefore experimented with electromyography (EMG) technology, a clinical technology that captures what the muscles are doing. With successful results, the company since then has been translating these EMGs into simple and powerful training systems.
These EMG sensors collect electrical signals generated by moving muscles; they provide the users a live view of their muscles’ efforts, muscles’ toning and muscle fatigue to help the users train and work better. Moreover, these also track the average heart rate and peak rate.
The garment is constructed using high-performance base layers that have built-in EMG sensors that send data to the core which snaps directly into the garment. The core processes the data and sends it directly to the Athos iOS app. There are 18 sEMG sensors (10 top, 8 shorts) and 4 heart rate sensors built in the garment. The core has 10 hours full charge battery that actively streamlines data to the phone. The app requires iOS 8.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPad.
Komodo Technologies, based in USA, is a smart wearable AIO smart sleeve that manages to collect and report health data including heart beats and sleep analysis. These are antimicrobial sleeves that feature a small tracking device that sits squarely against the inside of users’ forearm, one of the most ideal parts to collect the body data. The AIO needs to be connected with the app in the smartphone to provide all the important data related to the users’ activity including the number of steps, distance travelled and sleep quality.
The sleeve holds a small tracking device that’s packed with sensors. It utilises no nano trace built into the sleeves but rather uses a conductive material in liquid form connecting one electrode to the other. The sleeves also include ECG sensors that help measure heart’s electrical activity and photoplethysmography, an optical technique to detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed of tissue. The technology captures BPM more accurately than any other wearable. Also, it utilises Axis Accelerometer that allows to capture metabolic equivalent of task (MET), that is fitness intensity.
The sleeve connects to the app where it shows the data related to heart rate, distance and steps covered, workout intensity. The sleeve gets activated with one of the AIO sleeves, AIO device, 2 electrodes, electrode connector and a magnetic charger.
Ambiotex, based in Germany, is a high-tech shirt that measures the vital data using ECG sensors. The data is stored in the TechUnit; using this data, the software is able to apply sports medicine and training science to analyse and provide intelligent training and action recommendations to the wearer via the ambiotex app.
The ambiotex shirts basically consist of five components including a TechUnit, which can be easily attached to the shirt through magnetic contacts; textile integrated sensors that are robust and washable and a high-tech textile. The ambiotex app visualises, analyses, stores and communicates data in real time and through a web-based dashboard.
The technology collectively works for providing heart rate variability (HRV), fitness level, stress level and individual anaerobic threshold (IANS). Ambiotex supports its wearer by setting up an individualised and personalised training schedule. The smart shirt is also available with a strain gauge built into the fabric to measure changes in lung volume and breath rate. Sleep analysis when wearing the shirt is also possible.