Smart Clothing for Best Sports Performance
Fabric woven with electronic fibers measures your posture, which is tracked by an app on your mobile phone.
3. Opportunity: Which pillar of well-being, and which aspect of that particular pillar, are being addressed by the idea? In what way does it influence a pillar? What type of individual and community would benefit from the idea?
What if your shirt had body tracking built into the fabric? That's Smart Clothing. It's like a Fitbit for your body.
Smart Clothing and the three pillars of wellbeing...
- For the body, improves posture
- For the mind, improves awareness of bodily sensations, prompts being present and may help break bad habits
- For the community, a way to come together, to fitness train as a group in a new way.
4. Innovation: Why is your idea unique, novel, and/or impactful? What will the future look like if we’re successful in bringing your idea to life? How does the proposed solution differ from existing solutions addressing human well-being?
Smart Clothing is a new technology for posture correction. Special fibers woven into the fabric of the clothing change electrical characteristics when the fiber bends, producing a measurable signal. A signal that can be captured by a mobile app. Passive posture-correcting shirts range from those from IFGfit that try to gently correct your posture, to a rigid back-brace. What if instead of being forced into better posture, your shirt coached you into better posture?
5. Action Plan: Please justify and briefly describe the major steps needed to make this idea a reality. Does the technology and understanding exist now? Is it likely to exist in the next 3-5 years?
This technology is an achievable next step for me. I designed the Hollywood motion-capture system that Mattel uses to produce a hit Barbie cartoon series and that studios use for making visual effects in blockbuster films, such as Iron Man and Spider-Man. Although not designed for sports, this same system is used by athletes for sports performance capture and training. It works great, but it requires having a sound stage with mo-cap cameras and wearing a dorky-looking unitard with dots on it. Building sensors right into the fabric makes it a practical technology for consumers.
An 18-month project from R&D to product to market. We'll weave new fabrics to test different types of smart fibers, the electronics black box, the mobile app that pairs to it, and tailor smart shirt and leotard designs for consumer tests.
The in-store Smart Clothing experience... Store staff helps you shop. You buy a smart shirt and leotard. You put it on in the store and the staff helps you strike your best posture pose. You capture that setting in a mobile app on your phone as being your optimal posture. Then the app tracks your posture throughout the day. On another day, you return to the store for more coaching from staff. Or, join an in-store "posture party", a fun session with other atheletes working on posture and sports performance. Compare your posture sports profile to other athletes.
Smart Clothing is the future. Running a marathon, biking, and any sport where body position matters, having Smart Clothing will be the performance advantage.