Wearables & Gadgets

Ralph Lauren debuts heart rate-sensing shirt at U.S. Open powered by Montreal’s OMSignal

This week, as Djokovic, Federer, Wawrinka, Murray and Canada’s own Milos Raonic vie for the men’s U.S. Open title, the people with the most under-appreciated job, the ball boys, will be the most uniquely adorned.

Ralph Lauren, the designer clothier behind the polo shirt, will be outfitting a team of ball boys with sheer black shirts with conductive fibres meant to “monitor your heart rate, breathing and stress levels,” which will send the information wirelessly to a smartphone or computer.

Unlike early sensor-laden clothing, Ralph Lauren’s connected shirt will not have any additional layers or external peripherals to facilitate communication; everything necessary is built into the fabric — and it uses the body’s conductivity as source of data.

There is a Canadian connection here, too. Lauren is using OMSignal’s technology as a basis for the connected shirt. OMSignal, a Montreal-based startup, has raised $11 million, including a recent $10 million Series A, to fund development and expansion of its intelligent clothing lineup.

We recently covered the company’s launch of its first two products, a fitness-based men’s shirt and a more lifestyle-focused article, both of which communicate with a smartphone app to deliver health-related metrics.


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