After connected lumbar and abdominal belts, the market for intelligent clothing, which was featured at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas in January 2015, has now taken an interest in the issue of back pain. Here is a selection of the latest products.
Launched on September 29 on the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter, Percko is an intelligent t-shirt designed to help wearers have better posture in daily life and help with back pain.
Bearing in mind that 33% of reported accidents at work are caused by back and neck problems, Alexis Ucko and Quentin Perraudeau, founders of French start-up Percko, have worked with physiotherapists to create their product.
Using a patented system which combines various sensors, the t-shirt, which acts like a second skin, stimulates the back and the spine throughout the day and applies painless pressure if your posture is incorrect, forcing you to straighten up.
The product, which combines health benefits and aesthetic appeal, has already seen more than 200,000 euros pledged, exceeding its original funding goal of 30,000 euros, and is expected to go on sale soon on the website. The men’s and women’s models are both available in two colors and priced at €60.
Cityzen Science’s D-Shirt (digital shirt)
Another French company is a pioneer in connected clothing and was given an award at CES in Las Vegas in 2014; Cityzen has designed a connected t-shirt and cycling shorts. Using integrated sensors and an embedded GPS and gateway device, the system can measure heart rate, steps taken, pedaling rate, and calories burned. It can also geo-locate its user.
Retail price: €350
Through the combination of a t-shirt, a module and a mobile application, this intelligent garment measures heart rate, breathing rate, steps taken and calories burned. It is therefore capable of analyzing stress levels. The Canadian company which designed this product teamed up with Ralph Lauren for the August 2015 launch of the chic and sporty Polo Tech smart shirt which was tested by ballboys at the US Open.
Retail price: €295
Mimo Baby Body
This kimono made of cotton comes with a turtle-shaped receptacle which contains a sensor. This connected unit enables parents to monitor a baby’s body temperature (by analyzing its sweat), position and breathing rate. It also provides data on the child’s sleep activity and warns parents via their smartphone if there is a problem.
Retail price (pack of 3): €199.99
Google and Levi’s have teamed up to launch interactive textiles with touch-sensitive conductive yarn woven into them. This yarn, which can be invisible or not, is linked to sensors which operate via tactile recognition. With a simple touch to the skin, data can be transmitted to a mobile phone or tablet to interact with the user. With a gentle swipe, this connected fabric enables screens to be controlled and lighting to be adjusted. The launch date for these connected jeans has not been disclosed as yet.