Ralph Lauren has unveiled a Polo Tech shirt that features built-in fitness tracking that links to the cloud and stores all manner of biological and physiological information.
Sensors are knitted into the core of the new shirt design and it will make its debut at the US Open on both ball boys and tennis player Marcos Giron, who will wear it during his practice sessions. Giron is competing in the tournament for the first time after being ranked number one in the US Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
The Ralph Lauren Polo Tech shirt was co-developed with Canadian company OMsignal, which created a proprietary platform to deliver a wide variety of physiological data through apparel sensors to an app on a smartphone.
A "black box" is housed at the bottom of the rib cage on the left-hand side and this stores the data gathered. It also includes an accelerometer and gyroscope, so can track movement as well as the physiological data captured by the in-shirt sensors. Heartbeat and respiration are just two of the biometrics that can be registered. Stress levels and energy output too.
The box can then transmit the data to the cloud which can be read by the smartphone app.
David Lauren, a senior vice president at the fashion label, believes that the technology could make it into general lifestyle clothing too. "Our vision is that this will transcend sports to help us at every age and in every aspect of life," he said.
"Reaching far beyond just the needs of elite athletes, Polo Tech will offer innovative technology for all ages and lifestyles to promote general wellness and quality of life."
At present there is no word on the consumer launch date or pricing for the Ralph Lauren Polo Tech shirt.