Wearable technology is about to get a lot smarter, with Ralph Lauren’s fitness-oriented PoloTech smartshirts hitting stores on August 27.
Unfortunately, ladies who want to give these high-tech shirts a try will either have to make do with men’s sizing, or wait until the company introduces its women’s lineup as the shirt needs to fit snugly around the ribcage to accurately measure your health-related data.
So what’s so special about these $295 shirts? Unlike most wearables that you wear on just one part of your body like the MisFit Shine or FitBit smartband, the entire Ralph Lauren smartshirt (developed in partnership with OMsignal) is essentially a giant sensor that you wear on your torso while you workout (or go-about your daily activities). Made of a ‘second-skin’ material, the smartshirt is woven with silver threads and five sensors that capture detailed information about your performance and biometrics. It monitors everything from your “heart rate and variability, breathing depth and recovery, intensity of movement, energy output and stress levels, [as well as] steps taken and energy burned,” according to its press release.
The data is then stored in a little ‘black-box’ located around the ribcage, where data is streamed via Bluetooth to the companion PoloTech iOS app. Don’t worry, the box is removable when the shirt needs to be washed. We asked the Ralph Lauren rep if and when the Android app will be available but haven’t received an answer yet.
Going far beyond just tracking the number of steps you’ve walked or calories burned, this PoloTech app will also customize video-based workouts for you in real-time, based on how you did in the previous routine. This means you won’t be able to slack off and repeat the same workout your body has gotten used to; the app will push you to up your game by improving your cardio, strength and or agility in some way. There are apparently 10,000 possible combinations of videos so this app will probably keep you in shape for quite a while.
After debuting these PoloTech smartshirts at last year’s U.S. Open, Ralph Lauren is finally ready to release its ground-breaking wearable fashion to the masses. You can catch a daily demo of the shirt before picking up a shirt at its U.S. Open store at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, order one from its website, or in-person at its flagship store in New York City starting this Thursday.