Fashion designer Ralph Lauren introduces the PoloTech smartshirt that measures your vitals as you exercise and creates a real time personalized workout routine for you to follow on your iPhone. Roselle Chen reports.
Ralph Lauren's signature piece is the "Polo" shirt. But the designer is hoping to one up what's become a men's fashion staple, with the PoloTech smartshirt. SOUNDBITE (English) DAVID LAUREN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AT POLO RALPH LAUREN, SAYING: "This is a very tight fitting shirt that is popular in gyms around the world. What we've done is threaded some silver fibers through the material like magic fibers, that pick up your thoracic cage's breathing, your heart rate, any kind of biometrics that is essential to understanding your basic health levels." That's David Lauren, the head of advertising and marketing for the company and the designer's son. He explains that the fashion forward design uses this little black box to collect and process information. It has five connectors and contains a 3D accelerometer that captures intensity of movement based on g-force measurements. The fabric and the fibers woven into the shirt then stream information directly to a iPhone. The fashion house partnered with biometric technology company OMSignal. Stephane Marceau, co-founder of OMSignal, is wearing the shirt under his suit and says having biometric data at your fingertips can change the way you exercise and impact your overall health. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEPHANE MARCEAU, CO-FOUNDER OF OMSIGNAL, SAYING: "My shirt is tracking core vitals, including my ECG, the electro signature of my heart. There's nothing added or attached to it, the shirt is really the sensor." The team enhanced the smartshirt experience further by developing an app that utilizes the realtime biometric data to personalize a users workout. Celebrity trainer Chris Ryan help develop the exercise routines. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS RYAN, POLO TECH FITNESS EXPERT, SAYING: "What's cool about this is that it predicts your next exercise based on your biometric data... So there's 10 thousand plus workout combinations that can be predicted." The shirt will go on sale at the U.S. Open tennis tournament and online for $295 USD. And while it's taken two years to get the design right, Lauren says it's only the start of Ralph Lauren's fashion-technology fusion. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID LAUREN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF ADVERTISING, MARKETING AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AT POLO RALPH LAUREN, SAYING: "Ultimately, we're going to apply this kind of technology to all kinds of clothing that we're creating, whether it's a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt, or a jacket or a dress." Now, that would be a real lifestyle revolution. Making your fashion work for you, literally.