In the Quantified Self movement, smart clothing appears like the next step for self-tracking devices. Today, we take a look at the upcoming smart garments, and we see also why that technology (unfortunately) is not quite ready yet.
First example: the Squid. It’s a “smart shirt” developed by students at Northeastern University that monitors workout and tracks your progress. It measures muscle output based on a detection of the movements of the wearer (it’s actually a “compression shirt” that fits tightly on the body). Another promising project is the Move, a tank top designed by Electric Foxy for sport practitioners that analyses your movement to help you find the right position. It provides the user with instant feedback under the form of “nudges” that indicate which limbs need an adjustment. It also creates a timeline of the performance that the user can visualize later.
However, the Squid and the Move have something in common: they are both prototypes still, and some time away from availability to consumers. The reason for this is that the technology for self-tracking, wireless everyday garments apparently is just not quite there yet. You need to miniaturize the sensors, integrate them seamlessly inside the folds of the cloth, maintain accuracy over time and still make it affordable for the average consumer. It’s better for everyone also if the clothes can go through a washing machine, especially if you plan to wear them during exercise routines. But for me this is a really inspiring futureperspective, can’t wait to wear these garments durings sports! What about you?