Smart clothes are the next step beyond wearables. Despite smart watches and activity trackers just beginning to become popular, smart clothing is already starting to appear.
So far there are already items of smart clothing available including t-shirts that measure biometrics and bras that adapt to support in certain situations. But there's even more coming in the months ahead. Under Armour bought MapMyFitness, as an example of a clothing specialist moving into the biometric area.
We've gathered the best of smart clothes so you know what's available, what's coming and how clothes can enhance your health.
MyZone Sports Bra
A heart rate monitor built into a sports bra could be the ultimate simplicity in the path from sports clothes to smart clothes. The result should be a comfortable top that offers support as well as an ability to share heart rate data with a connected device. Coupled with the app this will train the wearer in their own heart rate zones, that adapt to fitness, creating a perfect push while still offering encouragement through success.
The MyZone Sports Bra can share data with a Bluetooth connected smartphone, smartwatches and even gym screens, meaning it can be used pretty much anywhere. It's made from quick drying fabric, comes in three sizes and a range of colours. It was initially available in red or black, but MyZone has now added pink, yellow and aqua colours to the mix too. All versions costs £50. The heart rate monitor can be unclipped for charging after about seven months of use, as well as for washing of the bra.
The Lumo name was first associated with wearables that help posture. Now that smart body tracking has been put into a small sensor that you clip to the back of your short or leggings, so that it's aligned with your spine.
The Lumo Run sensor measures a whole host of running metrics, including cadence, bounce, braking, pelvic rotation and pelvic drop. You can use it with or without a smartphone to hand and in either case, will sync your running data to the companion app. It gives you feedback on your form, both visually via the app and audibly through connected headphones and can offer personalised exercises based on your data.
The Lumo Run is available for $100.
The LikeAGlove leggings intelligently measure a wearer's shape so they can shop for the ideal sized clothes. Not only do the leggings find all the perfect measurements but they work, via Bluetooth, with the app to filter clothing options down to those that are available in the wearer's size.
The idea is to make shopping for clothes easier by getting the correct size every time, something which isn't always easy online when you can't try items on in the shop first.
LikeAGlove leggings are available now for $80.
Athos is at the forefront of smart wearable clothing. The Athos shirt and shorts are tight fitting sensor filled garments capable of detecting heart rate, breathing rate and even muscle activity thanks to EMG sensors.
The Athos line features a small core which works with the sensors to deliver data via Bluetooth to your smartphone. This 20g gadget slips into a pocket on the top of shorts and lasts 10 hours on a charge. But it's not just for sending information it also features a 6-axis accelerometer for measuring movement as you workout.
These types of clothing are going to be brilliant for muscle focused gym workouts where recording anything more than heart rate, which isn't that helpful for weights, has previously been reserved for professional athletes.
Athos caters for both men and women and the entire range of clothing can be found on the Athos website.
The Hexoskin smart shirt, made with Italian textiles, is able to track the wearer's heart rate, breathing rate and volume, steps with cadence and calories and even sleep. It uses a small device that slips into a pouch on the shirt. It connects via Bluetooth to iOS and Android devices.
Hexoskin's second generation now works with third party apps like Strava, RunKeeper and Endomondo. It's also got an extended battery life that can last up to 30 hours.
The Hexoskin is available in short and long sleeved versions for men and women. The shirt with device and cable is available to buy now for $399 which is about £255.
The Bionic Bra is still in development at the University of Wollongong in Australia. But the end result will be a smart bra that can offer support when needed and loosen for comfort at other times.
The Bionic Bra is able to tighten and loosen automatically allowing it to offer more support or breath room to suit the wearer. The result should be consistent comfort with support during sport, like running. It sounds like the bra is either tight, offering support during sport, or loose when the wearer is out relaxing, meaning it can be worn constantly. We wonder how many girls actually leave their sweaty sports bras on after training though.
The technology is still in development so don't expect to see this too soon.
Adidas, sponsoring the Team GB cyclists in 2012, came up with its heated trousers. These tailor made, battery powered trousers heat up in order to warm the legs of the athletes ahead of exercise.
Heated trouser, or "Hotpants" as they were dubbed, allowed muscles to reach an efficient 38 degress Celsius. This meant less time warming up so they could save their energy for the competition.
We doubt these particular trousers will make it onto the market for non-professional athletes anytime soon but something similar may arrive in smart clothes in the near future.