From Jawbone to Nike+, fitness buffs have nearly infinite choices when it comes to wearable sensor trackers to keep tabs on workouts. But a growing trend is wearable sensors embedded into textiles - which just got even more high-tech with a new health-monitoring system, dubbed "e-bra," designed to be built into a sports bra.
Announced on Saturday from the University of Arkansas in the US, the system features tiny wireless nanostructured, textile sensors - ideal for a sportsbra or a vest for men - which collects heart rate and health stats and sends them directly to your smartphone for data-crunching.
According to the press release, the system monitors blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, oxygen consumption, "some neural activity," and readings similar to a conventional electrocardiograph, and even the ability to display inverted T waves, which indicate the onset of cardiac arrest. "The system does not require a cuff or any extra accessories to measure blood pressure and could therefore replace conventional blood-pressure monitors," noted the release.
"Our e-bra enables continuous, real-time monitoring to identify any pathophysiological changes," said Vijay Varadan, professor of electrical engineering, in a statement. "It is a platform on which various sensors for cardiac-health monitoring are integrated into the fabric. The garment collects and transmits vital health signals to any desired location in the world."
If you're aiming to get your hands on a high-tech sports bra, Adidas just launched its Tennis Performance Bra, as part of the Stella McCartney collection, which features integrated HRM sensor patches on the bra to sync data with the Adidas miCoach Fitness system.
Plus the future looks very bright for more technological innovations in wearable sensors: mobile health company Agamatrix just raised $7.6 million for its wearable computing startup, Misfit Wearables, which according to reports, have their eye on textile sports sensors.