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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hexoskin, The First Biometric Shirt For Fitness Training And Sleep Tracking 11-28


Hexoskin, The First Biometric Shirt For Fitness Training And Sleep Tracking



If made right, smart clothing could be the key to unlocking the future of health and fitness technology. Smart clothing, or clothes with sensors that measure different aspects of your health and fitness, is still rare, with only a handful of products on the market. The Hexoskin Smart Shirt ($399/£260 for a complete starter kit with one garment) has made some great inroads into this space. Available for both men and women, it’s a workout top with almost invisible sensors for measuring heart rate and breathing, plus a small tracker device that connects to the shirt to capture your motion, like cadence, steps, acceleration, and so forth.

The Tracker and Compatibility

The Hexoskin tracker device is a small, Bluetooth-enabled device that’s smaller than a credit card and fits into a secure pocket on the side of the shirt. Inside the pocket is a little connector that fits into the device and lets it collect data from the sensors. The device then sends the information it gathers to your phone, where it’s collected in a companion app for iOS or Android.
A USB charging cable comes with a Hexoskin device, too, and the battery lasts about 14 hours. The device can store about 150 hours worth of data, so if you forget to upload your workouts for a day or two, it’s no big deal.

Wearing and Washing Hexoskin

hexoskin
I don’t know if you’d want to wear the same shirt all day long and then to bed, but the point is you could. Or you can buy additional shirts for $169(£110) each. The shirts, which are made of polyamide microfibers, feel similar to bathing-suit material. They’re machine washable on the gentle or “hand” cycle, although you do have to disconnect and remove the Hexoskin device before submerging it.

The Hexoskin App

The Hexoskin app shows you whatever data point you want to see being plotted on a graph in real time: heart rate, speed, cadence, and so forth.
The other measurements appear at the bottom next to their icons so you can check in on other stats at a glance. You don’t have to leave the screen on, however, and can put your phone out of sight if you prefer.
The app comes with a lot. A huge list of activities are supported, from badminton to snowboarding. You can use it not only to track your workout times, speed, breathing, and heart rate, but also to conduct a heart rate deceleration test, which is an indicator of health. Faster deceleration from maximum heart rate is better, and the app is pretty clear about showing what your results mean. You can also use it to test your heart rate variability, which is an indication of whether your body has recovered enough from a previous workout to get at it again full-force today.

Smart Shirt, Middling App

Though expensive, the Hexoskin Smart Shirt is a great product that tracks a wealth of information about your workouts and activities. The mobile app has some wonderful functionality, too, but it could use some love and attention from the design side. The same can be said for the tracker device and its incomprehensible LEDs.
If smart clothing sounds like overkill for your fitness needs, check out the best activity trackers instead, as well as our advice on how to choose a fitness tracker that’s right for you.

If made right, smart clothing could be the key to unlocking the future of health and fitness technology. Smart clothing, or clothes with sensors that measure different aspects of your health and fitness, is still rare, with only a handful of products on the market. The Hexoskin Smart Shirt ($399/£260 for a complete starter kit with one garment) has made some great inroads into this space. Available for both men and women, it’s a workout top with almost invisible sensors for measuring heart rate and breathing, plus a small tracker device that connects to the shirt to capture your motion, like cadence, steps, acceleration, and so forth.

The Tracker and Compatibility

The Hexoskin tracker device is a small, Bluetooth-enabled device that’s smaller than a credit card and fits into a secure pocket on the side of the shirt. Inside the pocket is a little connector that fits into the device and lets it collect data from the sensors. The device then sends the information it gathers to your phone, where it’s collected in a companion app for iOS or Android.
A USB charging cable comes with a Hexoskin device, too, and the battery lasts about 14 hours. The device can store about 150 hours worth of data, so if you forget to upload your workouts for a day or two, it’s no big deal.

Wearing and Washing Hexoskin

hexoskin
I don’t know if you’d want to wear the same shirt all day long and then to bed, but the point is you could. Or you can buy additional shirts for $169(£110) each. The shirts, which are made of polyamide microfibers, feel similar to bathing-suit material. They’re machine washable on the gentle or “hand” cycle, although you do have to disconnect and remove the Hexoskin device before submerging it.

The Hexoskin App

The Hexoskin app shows you whatever data point you want to see being plotted on a graph in real time: heart rate, speed, cadence, and so forth.
The other measurements appear at the bottom next to their icons so you can check in on other stats at a glance. You don’t have to leave the screen on, however, and can put your phone out of sight if you prefer.
The app comes with a lot. A huge list of activities are supported, from badminton to snowboarding. You can use it not only to track your workout times, speed, breathing, and heart rate, but also to conduct a heart rate deceleration test, which is an indicator of health. Faster deceleration from maximum heart rate is better, and the app is pretty clear about showing what your results mean. You can also use it to test your heart rate variability, which is an indication of whether your body has recovered enough from a previous workout to get at it again full-force today.

Smart Shirt, Middling App

Though expensive, the Hexoskin Smart Shirt is a great product that tracks a wealth of information about your workouts and activities. The mobile app has some wonderful functionality, too, but it could use some love and attention from the design side. The same can be said for the tracker device and its incomprehensible LEDs.
If smart clothing sounds like overkill for your fitness needs, check out the best activity trackers instead, as well as our advice on how to choose a fitness tracker that’s right for you.