Polar is at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas showing off its first foray into the smart apparel market.
The company, which is known for its fitness trackers and heart-rate sensors, is basically taking wearables to a whole new level. It's made a new type of fitness tracker that, yes, you can wear... because it's a shirt. Called Polar Team Pro Shirt, it's the ultimate wearable designed for professional athletes. Polar emphasised that it's targeting team sports in need of smart, accurate workout apparel.
We got a look at the shirt this week, and it looks just like you'd expect: a breathable, compression tank with slight bumps here and there, which indicate the sensors tucked inside. The shirt weaves Polar's heart rate technology directly onto the fabric, so there's no need to don an uncomfortable chest strap, and it even includes a small GPS-equipped motion tracking sensor on the collar.
The GPS allows you used to track speed, distance, and acceleration. All of this data gets piped to Polar's Team Pro platform so that teams and coaches can see real-time insights into an athlete's performance. During our demo, we saw how the shirt sends training data to an iPad. From there, we could see all sorts of metrics related to the wearer, as well as comparisons to his whole team.
Polar doesn't have pricing details at this time, but it told Pocket-lint that consumers won't be able to get their hands on it. Instead, if you're part of a sports team, you'll get the opportunity to try it from March.
That's kind of a bummer. We think this sort of technology would be useful to anyone - not just paid sports stars. Plus, the shirt looked ridiculously comfy, despite the integrated hardware.
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