SMART SHORTS: A step towards a healthy future
In the last decade technology has infiltrated our day to day life. From our mobile phones to clothing. Wearable technology has witnessed exponential development over the past five years. Multi nationals like Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger have brought this technology a long way; Fitness Trackers, smart watches and tops that soak up pollution. We live in the sci-fi future!
Greek startup, Tribe Wearables, has joined the league using the idea of high-tech clothing to pave the way to more effective and enhanced work-outs.
Professional athletes and trainers have access to technology that can monitor speed, movement and heart rate. This technology was under developed and very expensive. Tribe Wearables founder Demetres Stordopoulos wanted to make this technology more advanced and more accessible. Stordopoulos says the basic idea for the prototype was “like a pair of shorts, a computer and an octopus had a child,”
This endeavor brings us gym shorts that can keep track of our every move, guide us to improve our work-out technique and help prevent any injuries.
A knee injury in 2010 and months of extensive therapy gave Tribe Wearables founder Demetres Stordopoulos the idea. Weeks of frustration after physiotherapy exercises and attempts to check the progress on his healing process made his search for an alternate solution to his impediment.
In 2013, a trip to a bio medical lab inspired Strodopoulos. He wanted to take the monitoring technology and put it into gym cloths. The smart wearables were supposed to monitor the user’s health and movement without the confines of a laboratory and without the crushing cost.
A complex every day technology was nearly impossible to make.
Strodopoulos though committed, had to convince a rather skeptical team into working on the idea.
“The idea was to develop a wearable by putting an entire Biomechanics lab on a pair of shorts, using an embedded technology that itself was under research and development,” says Nikos Aggelousis, Tribe Wearables’ lead Bioengineer.
Recent developments have made smart sensors paper thin and more feasible making them almost unnoticeable. They are so discreet that you can now apparently wear them in your pants!
The sensors collect data and send it to an app on the wearer’s phone. The collected data then suggests what exercises are required, which would be more suitable for the user, the intensity with which each exercise is required and provides feedback on the wearer’s regimen.
This technology is a step towards lower rate of injuries in athletes and an all rounded fitness experience.
The newest project under development is a smart T-shirt. Fewer wearable projects see the light of day as it is still a young industry, though smart watches have found there place in main stream commercial market. We should be expecting to see some new and exciting developments soon!