Under Armor Developing Interactive Clothing
Most of the mobile technology being developed today can fit in a pocket, or at the very least in a briefcase, but that doesn’t make remembering to take it with you any easier. I know either my wife or myself has to make a trip back into the house to fetch a forgotten cell phone or iPod at least once a week.
Flexible technology won’t make remembering to bring your tech with you any easier, as I know plenty of people who forget to put on their watch, let alone a flexible phone. Wearable technology, though, might be a different story. How many times do you forget to put on a shirt before leaving the house?
Under Armor is working on interactive, touch sensitive clothing for athletes that monitors heart rate, speed, calories burned and other useful metrics, as well as keeping a record of past activities to help measure progress. All of that captured data is combined to produce a measurement of physical fitness that Under Armor is calling WILLpower.
At this point, the technology only exists as a strap wrapped around an athlete’s chest that relays information to mobile devices, but Under Armor are looking to incorporate the technology into clothing. Even if you aren’t into the fitness thing, imagine having the equivalent of an iPod touch on the sleeve of your shirt.
Under Armor isn’t the only company with designs on your shirt, either. Google is developing a similar idea for its Project Glass that uses a projector to create a virtual keyboard on your arm. Before too long we may see clothing produced by Apple (iShirt?) and other companies with embedded electronics that perform the same tasks currently found in mobile devices.
Below you’ll find Under Armor’s promo for the WILLpower idea, and a possible glimpse into the future.