Our guide of the best smart clothing isn’t all about fitness and biometrics, but as that’s all the rave in the wearables industry right now, that’s what most of this connected garb is about..
Smart clothes have been slower off the mark than other wearables such as smartwatches and activity trackers, but when they do take off there won’t be much need to strap a fitness band to your wrist. Smartwatches, smart jewelry and the stuff humans have been wearing for eons as fashion accessories will live on, it’s just those rubbery types that will perish in the wake of connected apparel, smart clothing, or whatever the heck you want to call it.
This is because the capabilities of smart clothing, i.e., having numerous biometric sensors working around your body outperforms any wrist-worn device, and allows it to form a collective and entire symbiotic relationship with your body, therefore gathering a greater amount of biometric data.
The Best Smart Clothing – Mostly For Fitness
Polar Cardio Sports Bra
Polar, inventors of the first ECG-accurate heart rate monitor, now want you to ditch the chafey old chest strap in exchange for their smart bra. The bra has integrated sensors built into the garment which a provides a close symbiotic link between your performance and your heart rate tech.
Designed with minimal friction and a system to soak up pressure from your shoulders, the OMbra is the probably smartest bra on the block.
It tracks your heart rate, heart rate variability, steps, distance and pace. It offers detailed graphs on how many calories you’ve burned compared to the average person of your age, and even has a smart coaching feature. You’ll find a shed load of other fitness features on board the OMbra, including the ability to measure breathing rhythms in relation to your movement.
Adidas Smart Bra
The Adidas smart bra features high-tech fiber electrodes which are built into the fabric. Its racer back design offers support for your back and shoulders during workouts. The connected bra brings accurate heart rate monitoring, even during high-intensity workouts thanks to its dual-layer construction that makes it as tight as a second skin.
Adidas TechFit Shirt
Using the same tech and high-quality fabric with embedded fiber electrodes, the Adidas TechFit Shirt is the men’s answer to the bra. If you’re a man who likes to wear a bra or a woman who prefers a T-shirt, then so be it, whatever floats your boat. Either way the Adidas TechFit Shirt offers soft stitching, non-slip performance and a tight fit which is fundamental to the accuracy of wearable HRMs.
Sensoria Fitness T-Shirt and Smart Socks
The Sensoria smart T-shirt is packed full of technology, both for comfort and biometrics. Its advanced design means it can absorb and maintain body heat, improve blood circulation and remove humidity from your body.
In terms of biometrics and fitness tracking, these connected threads have more features than the Olympics.. It tracks your heart rate and zones, heart rate variability, pace, speed, distance, calories, and when used with the smart socks it provides advanced metrics for running, such as foot strikes, cadence and more. There’s also a virtual coach living the app that provides real-time audio feedback and actionable insights. As an alternative to the T-shirt, Sensoria also offer a a smart bra.
Is a sweatband an item of clothing? I reckon it qualifies, making the Moov HR a prime candidate for this guide of the best smart clothing.
The Moov HR comes as a sweatband or swim cap. They both cost the same price and offer the same ECG-accurate HRM on dry land or in the pool. When creating their smart headgear, Moov extensively tested multiple body parts to find out where to get the accurate results. The results were that monitoring your heart rate from the head – around the temple area – is the best.
The connected headband can work alone or with the excellent Moov trackers. Together they offer advanced metrics and live audio coaching for running, walking, boxing, cycling, gym workouts, body weight workouts, and HIIT sessions.
Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt
Hi-end fashion label Ralph Lauren thought it would be a good idea to get into the game with some connected garb back at the U.S Open (tennis) in 2014.
The classy Polo Tech is a high-quality compression shirt designed in collaboration with Canadian-based Biometrics firm OMsignal and features sensors embedded into the fabric. It tracks your heart rate, breathing rate, distance covered, calories burned, stress levels, and effort levels.
OMsignal Smart Compression Shirt
OMsignal’s biometric garb comes in the form of a high-quality compression shirt with cutting-edge conductive yarn, silver-based thread embedded in the fabric.
The OM shirt brings all the physical benefits offered by high-quality compression gear, such as improving blood circulation which results in more oxygen reaching your muscles, thus higher performance levels. It tracks your heart rate, steps, calories burned, workout intensity, reserve energy levels, breathing rate, and Zen Index which keeps you informed of your stress levels.
Heddoko Smart Clothing
Along with making you look like something out of TRON, Heddoko’s smart garment captures your body movement in 3D with a series of high-tech sensors embedded into the fabric. Designed with benchmark ergonomics, Heddoko assess the risks of injury and provides a visual 3D avatar of your movement.
The full-body data capture and integrated sensors work in tandem with a smart fitness coach that develops a user profile and highlights stress on your joints, muscle fatigue, and more to get you moving better and safer during your routines.
Athos Smart Clothing
This connected compression clothing from Mad Apparel features flat-seam construction to minimize friction, and four-way stretch UPF50 treatment to protect you from UV radiation.
The smart clothes bundle contains a compression shirt and compression shorts. There is a total of 20 high-tech sensors embedded into the textiles. The advanced biosignal tech offered by Athos provides live view displays that show which muscles are working.
Athos tracks your maximum and average heart rate, breathing rate, calorie output, muscle exertion, muscles used, active time versus rest time, and balance. There’s also a real-time exercise form correction feature designed to get you moving better as well as preventing the risk of injury.
The makers of Hexoskin aren’t leaving much room for improvement in their efforts to create the best smart clothing available in the fitness tracking environment. This smart garb is made from high-quality, anti-odour, Italian fabric with UV protection, and monitors just about every biometric under the Sun.
Hexoskin tracks your heart rate, heart rate variability and recovery, steps, calories, cadence, acceleration, workout intensity, breathing rate, Vo2 Max, minute ventilation, sleep quality, and sleep positions.
Hexoskin epitomizes cutting-edge wearable technology and is capable of tracking over 40,000 data entries per minute.
Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard Smart Jacket
Smart clothes aren’t all about fitness. Well, mostly they are, but not the Jacquard jacket from Levi’s and Google.
Levi’s smart trucker jacket is woven with Google’s Jacquard conductive yarn which allows it to be used as a touchscreen and gesture controller for connected wearables, apps and other gadgets.
Built into the sleeve of the jacket is a touch and gesture-sensitive pad which enables you to swipe, tap, and shake a limb to reject calls, check notifications, skip music tracks and control the volume, plus access services such as Google Maps and third-party apps.
Levi’s Commuter X Jacquard is coming in the Spring of 2017.
Lenz Heated Socks
I like to keep fit and grind in the gym pretty much every day, but I’ll be honest with you and say that writing about fitness sometimes bores me to tears..
This is because 85% of the gear I write about for Urban Wearables is about fitness. That’s why when something like the Lenz heated socks come along, my fingers perk up and my keyboard gets wacked.
If you’re into outdoor activities, mainly cold ones, like skiing, fishing, sailing, etc, then slip a pair of these socks on and keep frostbite from knocking.
The tech-laden socks provide up to 14 hours of warmth and have three adjustable heat settings that can be controlled from your smartphone.
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