Ralph Lauren, long since established in the world of fashion, has finally branched out. Embracing the technological advances of the last decade, Ralph Lauren has taken the first steps to become a global powerhouse in the intersecting world of fashion and technology. Apple currently sits as the leader after their watch was introduced earlier this year, but Ralph Lauren is uniquely well suited to developing the first smart fashionable clothing line used in athletics.
Event data recorders are hardly new in athletics. Found in wrist band, arm bands, chest bands, pretty much every kind of band you can think of, they’re been working to provide meaningful data to their users to enhance their workouts. They all have one crucial flaw however, that Ralph Lauren is hoping to leverage into a prominent position in the athletic clothing market: they require you connect a band somewhere on your body to be able to record information with their new product ‘Polo Tech Shirt’.
Like most forms of wearable tech, the body sensors (for the most part) require a connection to a separate device to download meaning data. Considering that most people have grown accustomed to this, it doesn’t appear to post a significant issue. But remembering to bring a band with you for connectivity appears to be the major hurdle to overcome. Ralph Lauren appears to have done this with their latest offering: a smart compression shirt used to record detailed workout and health information.
Using woven silver bio-sensing fibers that are included in the shirt, Ralph Lauren has managed to develop a way to track your activity and physical exertion without the needs for an additional wearable band. The one caveat: there is an additional side unit that slips onto the shirt that connections with the woven fibers to read the information you generate for it as you exercise. Ralph Lauren says this box (about half the size of a smartphone) should provide you with a continuous thirty hours of data recording. When attached to the compression shirt, it will be able to provide a real-time readout to the app with a wealth of information across a wide variety of health metrics:
- Heart rate
- Movement intensity
- Physical stress
- Distance travelled
- Calories burned
Where the Ralph Lauren smart shirt excels over the competition:
- Real time comprehensive results provided to you
- Material is sewn into the shirt
- Washable tech (mostly)
- Increases blood circulation
- Feedback via app and audio output
If you’re like me you were a little stunned to hear that Ralph Lauren was entering the smart athletic clothing market. But considering that they have over a century of experience developing quality clothing, they do seem uniquely well qualified to venture into this market. No word yet on pricing, but we would estimate it as pricey considering the brand.
YouTube: Introducing The Polo Tech Shirt
Photo credit: Ralph Lauren