May 8, 2014 5:29pm
Get ready to say goodbye to wristbands that act as glorified pedometers. Montreal-based OMSignal has just opened up pre-orders for its first Biometric Smartwear. The connected clothing moves past step counting, monitoring and measuring your heart rate, breathing and activity. And the best thing is that it makes tracking your health as easy as putting your shirt.
OMSignal is offering two types of men’s shirts at launch. One is designed for working out and fitness and the other is what they call “Lifestyle” that is meant to be worn throughout the day. Both are compression shirts made with conductive fibers that act as sensors that send signals to a little black box you snap on to the clothing. The black box or tracking module is where all the magic happens. It captures all of your data, records it when your phone is offline and transmits it to the companion smartphone app via Bluetooth.
We asked Jesse Slade Shantz, OMSignal’s Chief Medical Office, how accurate the smartwear is in collecting activity and biometric information. He confirmed that OMSignal’s activity tracking is on par with the likes of Jawbone UP and for more advanced data, like heart rate, better than the chest straps that are out on the market today.
The companion OMSignal app, which will be for iOS only at launch (Android coming soon), will work with both types of shirts and is designed to show you the both data and give you insights to help you improve. These insights are different for when you are working out then if you were just sitting at your desk. When you are at the gym, the OMSignal app may tell you when you’ve reached a specific training zone while at the office it may suggest you take a deep breathe and chill out.
The Fitness shirts come in three styles, long sleeve, tank and short sleeve. The long sleeve also features an iPhone/iPod touch sleeve which is a nice add for those that want to listen to music while they pump some iron.
The Lifestyle option is a white compression shirt with the OMSignal branding. Shantz told us that the lifestyle shirt was designed to be worn underneath your work clothes but has just enough branding so that you can show people that you are an “Om-mie” or someone interested in the quantified self movement.
In addition to the connected metrics, the compression shirt is designed to help encourage great posture and features climate control and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool. And most importantly your smart shirt won’t stink because OMSignal’s outfitted it with an anti-microbial treatment and made it machine washable.
Shantz told us that they are currently testing the option of throwing the shirt in the dryer and even washing the little black box to ensure the product will hold up when you forget your smart shirt is combined with all your other laundry.
OMSignal is focusing on men’s smartwear only for launch but they have women’s clothing on the roadmap. Although women can buy the shirts currently for sale on OMSignal’s website, the sensors on the shirt need to be worn directly on the skin in order to give the best readings so a shirt designed specifically for women is necessary.
All OMSignal products are currently on sale at launch prices for a limited time only. Shirts ordered today are expected to ship out this summer. You can check out their killer marketing video that will definitely make you want to hit the gym.