New Wearable Technology: Shirts That Track Your Health

Wearable technology is getting a turbo boost from silver.

You see, sports and technology companies have already developed wristbands, shoe inserts, and smartphone apps that can track your heart rate, distance covered, and several other data points.

But now a Canadian company is collaborating with a global fashion powerhouse to take this market to a whole new level - with silver.

Silver's Role in Wearable Technology

wearable technologyAt the 2014 U.S. Open Tennis Championship in New York, the Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) introduced the Polo Tech Shirt. The clothing behemoth bills this as the first offering of apparel that tracks and streams real-time biometric data directly to your smartphone or tablet.

During the tennis challenge, ball boys and girls got to wear and display the new shirts, containing biosensing silver fibers woven right into the stretch nylon fabric.

What makes this shirt tick? The high conductivity properties of silver.

The silver fibers track distance, calories burned, intensity of movement, heart rate, stress rate, breathing, and a host of other biometric data.

It's pretty revolutionary to the nascent "smart clothing" industry, and silver is clearly an integral part of it.

And a Canadian company is supplying the technology side of this high-tech T-shirt.

Wearable Tech's Fast-Growing Sportswear Focus

OMSignals is trail-blazing a path in the emerging biometrics sportswear industry.

The company is responsible for developing, producing, and marketing such clothing tailored for athletes and others partaking in intense fitness programs.

A "Little Black Box" data module, about the size of a car remote, clips onto the shirt just below chest level. Through the use of low-power Bluetooth LE, the unit captures heart and breathing signals, and records and streams continuous real-time biometric data wirelessly to the wearer's phone or other device.

OM's form-fitting shirts and tank tops are produced with moisture wicking fibers. This allows the wearer to stay comfortable and drier while working out.

The Ralph Lauren Corp. sees mega potential within the marriage of technology and fitness fashion, expecting this business line to eventually make up a considerable chunk of their multibillions in overall sales.

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And they've gone a step beyond just creating a wearable tech that tracks your heart rate...

You see, this silver provides another very useful advantage. The shirt's fibers have gone through an anti-microbial, silver-based solution that fights the bacteria that cause odors.

You can expect to see this shirt make its way off the tennis court.

"This will no longer just be used for a sporting idea," Lauren said to CBS News in August 2014. "Someone walking down the street might want to know how their heart is doing, how they're breathing. Someone in a boardroom might be very curious about their stress levels, and someone might want to monitor their child at home in a crib and no longer just look at them visually.

We're living in a culture where people are gathering information to live a happier, healthier, and better life."

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